The Church of the Ascension was designed by Arthur Edward Cogswell and was originally built as a daughter church within the Parish of St Mark’s Portsea, to serve the workers from the naval dockyard following its expansion during the First World War. Construction began in October 1913, and the building was completed in 1916 at a cost of £7000. The church was dedicated in June 1914, and in 1929 The Ascension became an independent parish.
The large, painted and carved-panel reredos, which depicts the Ascension, dates from 1921 and was given as a World War One memorial. It is dedicated to those from the parish who lost their lives during the First World War; their names are inscribed.