PORTSMOUTH & SOUTHSEA'S No.1 for ARTS, CULTURE & LIFESTYLE

Southsea Mineral Water Ltd

Despite spring or mineral water seemingly being something of the end of the 20th century and hugely popular right up to today it has been a very popular drink over previous centuries and in particular in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Bathing in spring baths was thought for 1000s of years to have medicinal benefits and the bottling of this water and it’s distribution grew in popularity steadily from that.

As you may know mineral water is most often taken from natural springs and the chalk South Downs (including Portsdown Hill) make for a perfect source for clean, spring/mineral water. Even today Portsmouth Water, who supply water to the city, take water from natural springs at Havant and Bedhampton and wells and boreholes throughout the area. The water from the chalk downs flows naturally towards the sea and as such Portsea island has many natural sources of clean water. There is even meant to be a natural spring located under the stage of The Kings Theatre.

With the surge of popularity in the 1800s and early 1900s many local businesses started up in Portsmouth to supply the locally sourced mineral water. Southsea Mineral Water Co. was one of the larger companies and supplied water around the country from 1900 to 1940. The company was one of dozens and dozens of local companies that grew up due to the popularity of the water. The city even has Spring Street, located near Cascades in Commercial Road, which was home to numerous mineral water manufacturers in the mid 1800s. Fountain Street, the next street over, was also the location of a natural spring.

The popularity of mineral water waned through the first half of the 20th century with all of the companies gone by the late 1960s. With the hugh popularity of mineral water these days, maybe one day we might see the return of a local mineral water company?







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  1. Gareth C

    20 July

    That is awesome! I’m sure that is true about the spring under the Kings, my wife works from the Environment Agency and I believe it still has to be pumped to this day.

  2. Lauren

    20 July

    I want that bottle – so cool! Where did you find that?

  3. Charlie

    20 July

    This abundance of natural springs producing good quality water was also why Portsmouth & Southsea used to have so many breweries (and therefore pubs) dotted about.

  4. barry

    24 July

    Paul,
    I have collected bottles for years n years
    southsea & Pompey have loads of good uns

  5. Chris

    14 August

    Spit Bank fort as a natural water source from France and the owners have now bottled it to use on the fort exclusively. It’s called spit water

  6. Bradley Saunders

    12 January

    Hi I recently found one of these bottles digging a hole in a garden just curious of what year it would of come from

  7. Cynthia Mindermann

    14 May

    Hi
    Hope all is well
    I have a large flagon
    With a wooden spigot.
    It reads, “Southsea IdealMineral Water,Limited
    Green Road
    SOUTHSEA
    it is beautiful. I purchased it in 1989
    Was told it is an antique. If i had to guess id say its a three gallon capacity
    But im not sure.
    Can you tell me a bit of history about “Southsea Ideal Mineral Water” i cant seem to find anything and searched for years.

  8. Cynthia Mindermann

    14 May

    Hi
    Hope all is well
    I have a large flagon
    With a wooden spigot.
    It reads, “Southsea IdealMineral Water,Limited
    Green Road
    SOUTHSEA
    it is beautiful. I purchased it in 1989
    Was told it is an antique. If i had to guess id say its a three gallon capacity
    But im not sure.
    Can you tell me a bit of history about “Southsea Ideal Mineral Water” i cant seem to find anything and searched for years.

  9. Sue Yeng

    15 September

    My Great Grandad had a mineral water company in Portsmouth – we have a photo of him outside the shop standing by his delivery horse & cart
    This company also made & sold a sauce similar to Worcester Sauce called Passingham Sauce.
    Passingham is our family name
    Has anyone got information about this business which was around late
    1800 early 1900.
    Sue Passingham

  10. Catherine Heath

    4 October

    My husband’s great grandfather was Albert Edward Heath who had a ginger beer and mineral water business in Broad Street, Southsea around 190I would be interested in any information about the company
    Thanks

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