There are records of a church having been here since 1180 on land granted by the founder of the city of PORTSMOUTH – Jean de Gisons, a wealthy Norman merchant. In 1194 King Richard I seized the city from de Gisons and claimed Portsmouth for the Crown acknowledging its strategic importance to the nation. It was here in 1591 that Queen Elizabeth I worshipped while on a journey through the area. In 1642 the building was bombarded by the Parliamentary army during the Civil War and through taxes imposed on other churches Charles II raised funds for its restoration. The present building became a Cathedral dedicated to St.Thomas in 1932 and continues its connection to Royalty and The Royal Navy. For years it had a ring of just 10 bells and happily for its enthusiastic ringers it has been promoted to magnificent 12 that will ring out across the seas to celebrate ST.GEORGE.