Portsmouth was an obvious target for bombing raids in World War II and civilian air-raid shelters were an obvious requirement. The council took advantage of former chalk quarries on the Portsdown Hills to build two large public shelters.
The one known as Wymering was built behind Harleston Road and the later Medowsweet Way. The shelter was completed at the end of 1941 and first used in January 1942. It accommodated around 2,500 people in three-tier bunks. The shelter included a canteen, medical post, toilets and warden’s post. For a short while the shelter was re-used as a hospital. Today all entrances are back-filled and sealed.