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John Pounds Unitarian Church, Portsmouth

A pamphlet entitled ‘A plea for Ragged Schools’ was published by Thomas Guthrie in Edinburgh in 1847 and proclaimed John Pounds as the originator of the idea for ‘ragged schools’.

John Pounds Church is the home of Portsmouth Unitarians and there has been a place of worship on the site since 1662 when a Presbyterian chapel was opened. By the early 19th century the chapel had fallen into disrepair and was acquired for Unitarian worship.  John Pounds remains are buried in the churchyard.  


The original chapel on High Street and the John Pounds workshop were destroyed during a WWII enemy bombing raid on the night of 10th/11th January 1941.  The foundation stone of the new John Pounds Church was not laid until 24th September 1955 and the building was not opened for worship until a year later.  


A replica of John Pounds’ workshop has been built in the church grounds but visitors do need to check opening times at least one week in advance.

John Pounds Unitarian Church
John Pounds (replica workshop)
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John Pounds Unitarian Church

Contact:  John Pounds Unitarian Church

Email the Church Office:


Telephone: 02392 821101


Postal address: 

John Pounds Memorial Church, High Street, Old Portsmouth, Hampshire PO1 2HW

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