There have been many celebrated warships in Britain’s naval history but HMS Victory can justifiably claim to be the most famous of them all. Having served as Vice-Admiral Lord Nelson’s flagship at the Battle of Trafalgar, she has become one of the UK’s most-loved visitor attractions.
"This is a must visit, living history. The guide was knowledgeable and able to answer all questions put to him. How so many men lived, worked, fought in such a small space is amazing." Alan, Solihull
The death of Nelson onboard HMS Victory during the Battle of Trafalgar is an iconic moment in world history and 400,000 people visit the warship each year to see spot on the quarter deck where Nelson fell, which is marked by a brass plaque. Victory suffered the highest casualties of the British ships at Trafalgar, 51 of the servicemen onboard were killed, 11 died of their wounds and 91 were wounded and survived.
HMS Victory was permanently saved for posterity in 1922 following a national appeal, and placed into dry dock at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard where she remains today. Visitors to Portsmouth Historic Dockyard can now trace the development of Britain’s technical maritime advancements. Maintaining a ship like Victory out of water presents huge challenges, but you can be sure that Victory will never lose her original charm and appeal.
HMS Victory is currently undergoing a 13 year, £35million conservation project, with experts from fields such as timber preservation, shipbuilding, rigging, conservation, engineering and heritage. This is an exciting time for the ship. The most obvious sign of the project is that her masts have been temporarily removed, and visitors are also able to see first hand some of the work that is being carried out on board to save HMS Victory for future generations to enjoy.
An 18-month programme to re-support the world’s most famous warship HMS Victory sagging under her own weight is now underway.
HMS Victory has been sitting in a dry dock in Portsmouth since 1922 supported by 22 steel cradles positioned six metres apart. It has been well documented that the 252-year-old ship is creeping under her own weight and following a detailed laser scan of 89.25 billion measurements and computer modelling, a new support system has been designed to mimic how the ship would sit in water.
If you would like to be involved in the project donate here.