Olde Towne Squares

Olde Towne Squares

An 1851 map denoting the original Olde Towne Squares was used to place granite markers throughout the historic district. They provide a glimpse of what the city looked like when it was founded in 1752.

For example at High and Court Streets, Prison, Courthouse, Market and Church squares come together. The 1846 Courthouse, now the Art & Cultural Center, and Trinity Episcopal Church sit on two corners, reflecting their original uses.

Portsmouth’s Founder, Col. William Crawford, designed the town following instructions from English leaders who said he should designate 103 squares for specific uses.  He laid out the City in English tradition having a very wide main street (High Street), and several narrower cross streets (for example Court & Washington Streets). King and Queen Streets run parallel to High Street, honoring English royalty.

The markers for the squares were placed by the Portsmouth Heritage Initiative, a local non-profit organization that helps illustrate and accentuate the rich history of Portsmouth in a fun way.