14 January 2021
The Board of the Mary Rose Trust today confirmed that Helen Bonser-Wilton, Chief Executive, will be leaving the Mary Rose Trust at the end of March 2021. Helen is taking up an exciting new role as Chief Executive of the Leeds Castle Foundation in Kent. The Board is enormously grateful to Helen for all that she has achieved during her five and a half years at the Mary Rose and wishes her every success for the future.
03 December 2020
Tick some items off your Christmas shopping list with some help from The National Museum of the Royal Navy and the Mary Rose Museum.
Here’s some great gift suggestions to suit the different friends and family in your life.
It might just give you an idea for that person you’re stuck on too!
Inspired by an exhibit from the HMS Gallery in Portsmouth, this lovely knitted sailor is the perfect memento of your time in the National Museum of the Royal Navy’s Museums.
The original was made by a Submariner, Ernest 'Gus' Britton representing himself as a Signalman. Gus's father served on HMS Caroline in the Battle of Jutland and Gus followed in his father's footsteps by joining the Navy at an early age.
In 1947 Gus served on HMS Alliance and later became a stalwart supporter of the Royal Navy Submarines Museum where today you can stand in the submarine that he served on.
This charming book, by Author Fiona Macdonald and Illustrator David Antram, mixes comedy and historic facts in easy to digest chunks for your children.
The illustrations are fantastic and encourage a little bit of learning too.
This gorgeous homewares range has been exclusively commissioned and made for the National Museum Of The Royal Navy in association with 8901 - a military wife and sister owned company designing beautiful nautical pieces.
The range includes: oven mitts, pot holder, apron, tea towel, tote bag, set of two napkins and set of two placemats.
Shop the full range and check out our fine bone china mugs to complete the set.
Your kitchen will look the best it has ever looked!
Tudor Gin, made in Portsmouth by the Portsmouth Distillery, is a fine gin created using botanicals found on the wreck of Henry VIII’s Flagship, Mary Rose.
These include: Dandelion, Hazelnut, Hemp seeds and Cherry which combine to give a smooth, rich, dry gin complete with a burst of cherry.
With every bottle sold a generous contribution goes to the Mary Rose Trust, helping to ensure the future of this important project.
Perfect for a Christmas cocktail!
HMS Victory Gin, made by the Isle of Wight Distillery, is a bold and strong, award-winning Navy Strength Gin. It’s packed with a high concentration of botanicals to deliver powerful, intense flavour worthy of the world’s oldest serving warship. A confident gin with heart and a sense of history for the Gin aficionado.
Raise a toast to naval history with the HMS Victory Navy Strength Rum, a rich, deep blend of the finest aged demerara rum, refined and rested in barrels, flavoured by an original oak stave from HMS Victory herself. A bold, smooth blend that packs a punch, like the Victory herself.
This is not just any ballpoint pen, it’s been exclusively handmade for the National Museum Of The Royal Navy made from wood taken from HMS Victory during her restoration work. You’ll be writing with a piece of history!
Choose from ballpoint or slimline ballpoint, each pen comes in a presentation box with a certificate of authenticity.
Please note - due to the nature of the item all items may differ slightly in colour/finish.
These bottle stoppers are made from wood salvaged from HMS Victory during restoration work.
Choose from a silver or brass finish.
Each piece comes in an HMS Victory kit bag with a certificate of authenticity.
This jolly historical decoration from the Mary Rose Museum will be a beautiful addition to any tree.
If you head to the online shop you can also get a Jane Seymour to join him!
Our HMS Warrior Ship hanging decorations are exclusively designed and hand finished for the National Museum of the Royal Navy.
This beautiful decoration will add a touch of luxury to any Christmas tree.
Though there may be variations due to their personalised finish, the time taken to create each one is reflected in their unique quality.
Well there’s certainly lots of gift inspiration in the list above – we hope it helps with getting the Christmas shopping sorted!
You can get these items from each of the relevant museum gift shops but, each one is also available online with delivery across the UK.
There’s still plenty of wonderful gifts to discover on each museum’s online shop if you want to keep browsing.
26 November 2020
Portsmouth Historic Dockyard is home to some of the collection of the National Museum of the Royal Navy, the Mary Rose Museum and their more curious artefacts.
From the unique and unknown whatcha-ma-call-its to the sublime and ridiculous thingy-ma-bobs, these items paint an entirely different picture of history.
They show the hidden stories, the solutions to everyday problems, details about people and events and strange gifts given out of courtesy and tradition.
There’s even items that still have us guessing what their purpose is. These are the truly curious of course, and we do have a lot of fun trying to figure them out.
The best part is that each of these artefacts offer a completely different perspective on history, an insight into what life was like in these times and interesting details that might have otherwise been lost.
Here’s eight of the most curious things we could find that are currently on display. Some will make you cringe, others might make you think ‘yuck’ but, we think you’ll agree all of them are weird!
Find this in the new Diving Deep: HMS Invincible 1744 exhibition
Shipworm (Toredo Navalis) are eating the wreck of HMS Invincible. They can be found in the sea all over the world and are not actually worms, they are molluscs with a long slimy body and a tiny shell.
They use their shell a bit like we use our teeth, to grind and chew burrows deep inside the wooden decks of Invincible.
This is an x-ray that shows the shipworm burrowing away inside the wood causing huge amounts of damage. You can see the actual damage they have caused to HMS Invincible in the Diving Deep exhibition in the National Museum of the Royal Navy.
Find this in the National Museum of the Royal Navy
Why does the Navy have antlers? It’s because they had a zoo on Whale Island, Portsmouth. The antlers belonged to Robin, a fallow deer buck, who died in April 1938.
We don’t know how Robin got to Portsmouth but it is possible he was a mascot or gift to a ship.
As there wasn’t enough space to keep larger animals on board, the crew probably gave him to Whale Island naval zoo when they returned home.
Strangely animals were frequently used as gifts as you can see in another example in the picture below, and Elk presented to HMS Kent in 1984. And, that’s not the strangest there’s been reindeer, bears and all kinds of animal gifts to the Royal Navy over the years.
Find this at the Mary Rose Museum
Eighty two nit combs were found on the Mary Rose, making them the most commonly found personal objects recovered. Apart from one made from ivory, they were all fashioned from wood, mainly boxwood, with a single alder example.
Thousands of these combs were imported from the continent during Tudor times, and although most of them were made in wood occasionally an elephant ivory examples survives. As well as being used to remove nits and fleas they were also used to style the hair of the Tudor sailors, although several in the collection still have nits in them.
Find onboard HMS Victory
HMS Victory has two ‘capstans’, these are huge hand turned machines used to lift heavy weights like stores, boats and guns, as well as rigging. This one is believed to survive from the 18th century. To combat woodboring pests that have made Victory their home, in 2009 it was heated to 58°C for several days. This killed the pests to help preserve this historic part of the ship.
Find this at the Mary Rose Museum
Two metal syringes were among the artefacts recovered from the wreck.
The larger is thought to have been used to treat constipation, whilst the smaller was a urethral syringe for the treatment of diseases such as gonorrhoea or syphilis.
However the use of mercury for such treatment and the fact that mercury corrodes pewter rather rapidly suggests that this pewter syringe was more likely used to administer a non-corrosive fluid such as rosewater, or acidic ones such as wine or vinegar, which were used for flushing out wounds. They could also have been used for draining fluids and flushing stones from the bladder.
Find this under HMS Victory
In the Second World War a German bomb exploded in No. 2 Dock and Victory had a large hole torn in her hull.
German radio propaganda claimed the ship had been destroyed but Victory was hastily patched up, but the bomb Victory left a 2.5m by 4.5m hole through the hull and part of her keel blown away.
The repair to Victory’s keel can be seen when visiting beneath the ship in the dock. To boost morale during the war years, Churchill used Victory as a symbol of Britain’s heroic past.
Find this in HMS Galleries in The National Museum of the Royal Navy
In 2008, Royal Marine Sergeant Noel Connolly, serving with 42 Commando in Kandahar, Afghanistan, received a warning about a possible suicide bomber. When a motorbike later stalled near his unit, he approached the rider and saw a toggle to detonate a bomb. Sergeant Connolly rugby tackled the rider and discovered that it was packed with explosives. He received the Military Cross for his bravery.
Sergeant Connolly asked his sister not to tell his mother what he had done as he didn’t want her to worry.
Find this at the Mary Rose Museum
This ornately carved ivory earscoop, used to remove earwax from the ears of the owner, was found in a bone manicure set located, not in an officer’s chest as might be expected, but in the carpenter’s cabin.
Ear scoops – many of which were made of silver, were a popular implement in the Tudor period and the find suggests that at least one of the carpenters took care of his appearance as there was also a comb, razor, shaving brush and a little mirror associated with it.
These artefacts are just a handful of items here waiting for you to discover.
The majority are on display across the dockyard and you’ll be able to see them all with an Ultimate Explorer ticket when you next visit us.
The Ultimate Explorer ticket can be bought now, and doesn’t activate until your first visit. It will give you access to all of the museums, attractions and exhibitions at the dockyard and can be used an unlimited amount of times across the year. Plenty of time to discover the items on this list!
Please note the items listed were on display at the time of publishing unless otherwise stated. But, our collections and exhibitions often change and new items are brought out to display and others put in storage. There is always lots to discover at the museums so be sure to come and visit us on a regular basis.
18 November 2020
Just because we’re in lockdown doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a bit of Portsmouth Historic Dockyard magic!
While you can’t tour the museums right now there are plenty of videos and virtual tours that highlight the different things to see here at the dockyard.
Plus, you have to admit, there’s a certain appeal to being able to sit on the sofa at home, with a coffee, and take a look around.
With this in mind, here’s five videos and virtual tours that you can view online. Pick one or two or watch them all and take a look at just a couple of the exciting experiences that await you here at the dockyard.
This video is a great one to start with, it’s a walk-through of the dockyard giving you an idea of how big it is and where the museums and attractions are.
With an Ultimate Explorer ticket you have access to all the museums and attractions you can see in this video.
After 437 years, Mary Rose was finally returned to the surface in a maritime salvage operation seen by over 60 million people across the world. Now you can see it online but, there's nothing quite like seeing it in real life when the doors reopen.
HMS Warrior is a beautiful ship to explore and this video takes you through the main gun deck and shows you what life was like onboard.
HMS Alliance forms the centrepiece of the Royal Navy Submarine Museum along with Holland I and X24, the museum also contains thousands of photographs, documents, ship plans and artefacts.
The museum is located in Gosport on the former site of HMS Dolphin; home to the Submarine Service for 100 years. A waterbus takes visitors across the harbour to and from the dockyard.
The Ultimate Explorer ticket also gives you access to this museum and the waterbus service.
HMS Holland is also at this museum and it’s a very unique submarine with an interesting history, watch this walk through video to take a look around.
We hope you’ve enjoyed taking these virtual tours of our attractions and museum. Of course, there’s plenty more to see when we can welcome you back. We’ve not even covered HMS Victory, HMS M.33, Boathouse 4 or the Harbour Tour!
Make sure you’ve got an Ultimate Explorer ticket which gives you access to absolutely everything at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard for an entire year. If you buy a ticket now, your year won’t start until your first visit to us.
We can’t wait to welcome you back very soon!
11 November 2020
Shipwrecks and diving below the waves have long captured the imagination, so when the National Museum of the Royal Navy’s Community Archaeologist Eileen Clegg described new exhibition Diving Deep: HMS Invincible 1744 as the closest to “diving without getting wet” we knew it would be something special.
It’s a brand-new interactive exhibition packed with objects saved from the seabed; lots of hands-on fun for the family (all with lashings of hand sanitiser) and a fascinating display that tells the story of HMS Invincible, one of the most famous warships never heard of!
Invincible was a game-changer in the way ships were built and influenced the design of one of the world’s most famous and enduring warships HMS Victory – which sits alongside the exhibition in Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.
She was originally built for the French navy but captured by the British in 1747. Sadly, she sank in 1758 when she hit a sandbank in the East Solent, the body of water along the Hampshire south coast. She languished there until rediscovered by a local fisherman, Arthur Mack, nearly 200 years later.
In a race against tide and times, the ship was excavated underwater by a team of divers, thanks to a grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund. Full of stores, provisions and equipment, the team recovered significant finds such as swivel guns, a gun port lid, the main stay and even a mop head and bucket. It’s probably the most important underwater archaeological excavation of its kind in UK waters for nearly 40 years, after the raising of the Mary Rose.
One of the more intriguing finds were wig curlers, also on display, as officers onboard were very keen to maintain standards in appearance! One of the hands-on displays even challenge visitors to have-a-go at curling some hair.
The exhibition uses the latest in digital technology to bring the often unseen and mysterious world of underwater excavation to life in a really inventive way. Visitors are surrounded by a massive three screen projection that showcases new ways of filming underwater.
The exhibition is open for a year and tickets must be pre-booked at www.historidockyard.co.uk/tickets. Buy an Ultimate Explorer today, and be ready for when the doors re-open after lockdown.
Replicas of Invincible’s artefacts already grace the gun decks of Victory and ticket holders can visit both the exhibition, Victory and the neighbouring Mary Rose Museum which is home to the world-famous Tudor shipwreck raised from the seabed in 1982.
05 November 2020
Portsmouth Historic Dockyard is popular as an attraction and film site with many personalities that grace the screens and airways. Over the years we’re lucky to have many friendly famous faces visit us, from Dan Snow to Harry Hill, and movies like Transformers and Les Miserables (including the famous casts!).
Recently lovers of the ancestry-tracing programme will have seen David Walliams on the BBC’s Who Do You Think You Are? Television show in October 2020.
The actor, comedian and now popular children’s author met Tony Lidington at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard to learn more about his great-great grandfather, William J. Haines.
William, who described as "blind", was noted on the 1891 census as living in Portsmouth and gave his occupation as "musician". Tony ably demonstrated a Barrel Organ, similar to one that William might played around the local streets, entertaining the passers-by.
While Channel 4’s Great British Bake-Off personality, Karen Wright, visited Portsmouth Historic Dockyard during her September 2020 caravan tour and blogged about her visit. A model visitor, Karen booked online and secured a timeslot ahead of her trip.
She shares her trip around the dockyard and memories of a visit to see HMS Victory as a child in the sixties, and notes, back then, the Mary Rose was still undiscovered.
Karen writes in her blog “The Mary Rose museum is so fascinating and there are over 19,000 items that were found during excavation and recovery. All on display, including the full skeleton of the ship's dog, thought to be a whippet that was kept on board as a rat catcher.
After the museum, we took a trip on a boat around the harbour. This was great, I love boat trips. The commentary was very full and interesting. We sailed by the aircraft carriers, tugs, banana boats and the ferries, and saw the Spinnaker Tower.”
It’s always worth keeping your eye open around the dockyard as you never know who you might see!
Make sure you’ve got your Ultimate Explorer ticket so you can visit any attraction or museum you like as many times as you like in the future.
Catch up with these two famous visitors by reading the blog or watching the show…
Read more about Great British Bake Off star Karen’s visit, travels and baking exploits.
Watch David Walliams discover his ancestry on BBC show Who Do You Think You Are?
28 October 2020
Were the crew of the Mary Rose white Englishmen or did diversity reign on board Henry VIII’s favourite warship?
During Black History Month and in light of the ongoing conversations tackling racial inequalities within society, the Mary Rose felt that it has a role to play within this conversation.
The Many Faces of Tudor England exhibition explores the latest scientific and genealogical findings into the crew of the Mary Rose. Through interactive screens, documentary footage, print material and a reproduction of an intriguing crew member nicknamed Henry - the exhibition helps us answer important questions about the crew.
Internationally recognised historian, writer and presenter, Dr Onyeka Nubia (FRHisS) says 'The Many Faces of Tudor England — helps us see another England, whose faces we do not know, whose voices we have never heard and whose stories have been forgotten. It is an England that is closer and further away from our perceptions and polemics, and it is absolutely fascinating.'
The discoveries point to a much more multicultural crew than we previously thought, the question arises: what further insights might a study of the remaining crew provide and what does the Mary Rose crew say about British national identity today? There is so much more to learn from the crew – come and explorethe diversity of Tudor life at the Mary Rose.
The Mary Rose, in collaboration with Dr Nubia, has produced a podcast giving an in-depth look at Tudor England. Download the podcast.
Visit the Mary Rose website to find out more about the Many Faces exhibition and explore how diverse Tudor England was.
22 October 2020
New for autumn 2020 is the Diving Deep exhibition and the HMS Victory Under Hull Walkway experience. Both of which launch this half term, ready for your visit to the dockyard.
And, don’t forget, we’ve gone above and beyond to make your visit a safe one with plenty of additional measures which you can see in the Welcome Back to Portsmouth Historic Dockyard video.
It is highly appropriate that Portsmouth Historic Dockyard’s new Diving Deep exhibition opens alongside HMS Victory and the Mary Rose Museum.
Diving Deep showcases the intriguing story of HMS Invincible, from her capture and inclusion in the Royal Navy fleet to her sinking, rediscovery and excavation. On display are never seen before artefacts from the shipwreck that have been hidden on the sea bed for over 250 years.
The discovery and excavation of HMS Invincible is considered one of the most important maritime archaeological projects of recent times certainly since the raising of the Mary Rose in 1982.
Launched by the French in 1744, HMS Invincible was one of the most innovative ships of her time. Her design made her the perfect balance between, speed, manoeuvrability and strength. The Royal Navy captured her in 1747 and she quickly became a favourite of officers, captains and admirals.
Sadly, the Royal Navy did not keep her for long. Eleven years after her capture she ran aground on a sandbank in the Solent. She slowly sank over four days in February 1758, where she lay undiscovered for 262 years.
Easy to follow extra measures have been taken to keep the more interactive elements of the new exhibition open. We encourage you to follow the guidance for everyone’s safety.
Once you have finished browsing the interactive exhibits of Diving Deep, you can now experience the new HMS Victory Under Hull Walkway.
This experience allows you to walk down into the base of the dry dock and view the 3600 tonne ship from below. This is a first for HMS Victory and a must-do experience on your visit.
Descending into the dock you have the imposing sight of HMS Victory’s Bow, or Beakhead and her original elm keel held fast by copper fishplates and bolts.
The dock also tells some of the story of HMS Victory’s remarkable survival. The tell-tale buckling of the foremast support plate, signs of hasty concrete repair and added sections of teak to the keel remind us of the impact of a 250Kg bomb from an air raid in 1941.
Take a walk under HMS Victory to unlock more history than ever before on your next visit.
Visitors to Portsmouth Historic Dockyard can visit all the attractions, exhibitions and new experiences with the Ultimate Explorer Ticket.
We’re open 10am-4.30pm, last entry 3pm, every day during half term and we can’t wait to welcome you back.
15 October 2020
The Mary Rose Trust is delighted to announce that it has been awarded £655,000 from the Government’s Cultural Recovery Fund.
This fund was established to save ‘the crown jewels’ of British culture and it was launched by Minister for Digital and Culture, Caroline Dinenage at Mary Rose in July, and this money will help support us until the end of the financial year. Like many other cultural organisations having lost all income for the year, we needed to raise £2.2m to cover the costs of caring for the collection.
The award-winning Museum now houses the remains of the ship and her collection of 19,000 Tudor artefacts which give an unparalleled insight into life 500 years ago. The story of the Mary Rose has unquestionable international appeal, but the local and regional impact has been extraordinary too.
Chief Executive, Mary Rose Trust, Helen Bonser-Wilton, said:
“The Mary Rose was severely affected by COVID19 and lockdown as the vast majority of annual income comes from visitors. Despite public closure, the vast costs of keeping the unique archaeological collection in climate-controlled environments 24/7 continue, meaning that the very existence of the Mary Rose was in serious doubt. While we had raised significant funds to survive until December from major grant funders and generous individual donors, we still had a considerable gap in funding to survive the year. The grant from the Cultural Recovery Fund, through Arts Council England, is literally a game changer. It recognises the Mary Rose as one of the crown jewels of British culture that the Fund was determined to save and means that the Trust will now make it through the financial year. We are immensely grateful to all those who worked to create this invaluable Fund and to invest in the future of British culture.’
“The Mary Rose reopened in August, offering joint tickets to Portsmouth Historic Dockyard with the National Museum of the Royal Navy and we are delighted to welcome our visitors again. Securing this grant gives us a vital lifeline, but visitor business is fragile and dependent on consumer confidence. We will continue to seek on-going funding to support our work during 2021 to ensure that the Mary Rose can be enjoyed by future generations.”
26 August 2020
Matthew Sheldon, Director of Operations for the NMRN, said: "Getting everyone back into the Dockyard has been an incredible feeling. Walking around here during lockdown has felt far too eerie. Seeing the first few people walking through the gates in the morning was a really lovely sight for us. People say they have missed coming here and that genuinely means a lot to us."
Dominic Jones, Chief Operating Officer for the Mary Rose Museum, said: "Local people are the heartbeat of this place – from our most loyal visitors to the hard-working staff members. Portsmouth Historic Dockyard without the people of Portsmouth would be a very hollow place indeed. They are part of our history, and now we need them to help secure our future. Every museum in the country is facing challenging times at the moment, so local support is more important than ever. Both of the first two opening days at PHD were sold out and hopes are high that this momentum can be maintained."
Buying a brand new Ultimate Explorer ticket that grants access to HMS Victory, HMS Warrior and the Mary Rose, will give you the most comprehensive experience at the Dockyard to date.
Remember booking your time slot in advance is essential, as tickets are not available at the gate. So please only travel to the Dockyard if you have a pre-booked slot.
04 August 2020
We’ve swabbed the decks and are ready to welcome you back on board!
22 November 2019
13 November 2019
HMS Warrior, the Victorian battleship moored at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, has a new look for winter as one of her masts and part of her bowsprit are removed for essential restoration
08 November 2019
The melodic sound of steel pan music played alongside the historic ships and museums of Portsmouth Historic Dockyard recently as visitors were welcomed to a special family fun day event to mark Black History Month.
23 October 2019
On 15 October 2019, we welcomed HRH The Princess Royal, Patron of The National Museum of the Royal Navy to Portsmouth Historic Dockyard to inspect some of the latest developments on the site and to learn more about future projects including the planned Royal Marines Museum.
21 October 2019
Just in time for the 214th anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar on Monday, The National Museum of the Royal Navy has unveiled its latest exhibit - a plan of the battle, hand-drawn by Admiral Lord Nelson himself, that has been tucked inside the pages of a scrapbook for the last 200 years.
Thirty million people have visited HMS Victory at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard but not even Nelson himself would have seen the remarkable views that are set to welcome visitors next year.
22 July 2019
This summer we’re sharing “wow” moments so imagine Portsmouth woman Cheryl Jewitt’s surprise when she made the intriguing discovery that her great-great-grandmother Mary Anne Gordon was the first recorded live birth on HMS Victory!
Supporters and visitors gathered on the deck of HMS Warrior at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard this morning to celebrate the culmination of a multi-million pound conservation project.
07 June 2019
In what is believed to be a first for the museum sector, local community groups in Portsmouth are set to benefit from a stunning, colourful legacy to a highly successful tattoo exhibition held last year.
A full-sized handcrafted, painted tattooed torso nicknamed “Tattoo Jack” and featuring up to 35 designs has been created by artist Gary Coole and is now being toured around Portsmouth and beyond as part of an outreach programme including sessions with Alzheimer’s and Dementia Veterans group.
Some of the tattoos featured on the 95cm-high torso were submitted by the public, some by serving or veteran personnel following a public appeal by the museum to learn more about the tradition of tattoos. Others were based on research collected during the run, last year, of Tattoo: British Tattoo Art Revealed. The exhibition, curated by The National Maritime Museum, Cornwall, is currently touring the UK.
Jo Valentine, Community Producer for The National Museum of the Royal Navy explains:
“Gary Coole is a local mixed media artist and barber who specialises in the tattoo style of painting.
“From early childhood he watched and assisted his father, Brian Coole, working in tattoo studios. Brian designed tattoo flash for well-known artists Bill and Les Skuse, and worked with Portsmouth-based tattooist Ron Ackers at the Arches tattoo studio during the 1970s and 80s. He also painted interiors and exteriors of tattoo studios.
“When Brian retired, Gary followed in his father’s footsteps designing flash and sign work for tattoo artists. Some of his work was displayed as part of the tattoo exhibition held at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard last year.
“We wanted something as a legacy that embodied the results of our tattoo research with the navy and public that could still inspire a reaction when we are working with community groups. Tattoos are an excellent prompt for conversations started with military and non-military audiences.
“We wanted something striking, that was personal to us and would stop you in your tracks. We had the idea of a painted torso which could come on tour around the area.
“Every tattoo has a tale to tell on the torso so we gave Gary examples of the tattoos the public had submitted and also ones that reflected our Royal Navy tattoo research. This includes the submariners’ badges, the remembrance tattoos, the blood groups and Royal Marines Globe and Laurels tattoos.
“Also included on the torso are two very special tattoos from our own collection – a George Burchett flash and a rare Tom Riley flash. We have also commissioned two tattooed feet featuring a pig and a rooster.”
There’s a new face in town as a 2.5metre figurehead from 19th century 3rd Rate ship HMS Centurion has been craned into place at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard after a day-long operation. It joins over 20 other figureheads in the Victory Gallery.
As one of the National Museum's historic fleet, HMS Caroline, the World War One light cruiser docked in Belfast since 1924 and which reopened as a museum following an £18m restoration has been selected as one of five finalists for Art Fund Museum of the Year 2019, regarded as the most prestigious museum prize in the world.
14 March 2019
A new exhibition that sheds light on the little-known cultural history of the Jolly Roger flag will open at The National Museum of the Royal Navy, Portsmouth Historic Dockyard on 6 April 2019.
27 February 2019
Be the envy of friends and colleagues (or bring them along too) as we invite you to exclusive dinners, one-off experiences and returning favourites you'll just love. The events team have been busy preparing Royal Navy inspired events onboard historic ships and inside museum galleries.
01 February 2019
In April 2019 Horrible Histories® Pirates opened at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard unveiling a new UK-first blockbuster family exhibition that tells the history of piracy and their interactions with the navy.
24 January 2019
If you arrived to see our big guns like HMS Victory and Action Stations you might have missed things which are equally as historical and epic. Our ‘8 things you might have missed’ guide gives you some great hints on what you could see next time you visit. From spectacular statues with stories to tell to must-see museums packed full of heritage - you’ll be surprised with what there is to discover.
21 December 2018
In the final weeks of an exhibition exploring the long history of tattoos, curators at The National Museum of the Royal Navy have uncovered their own incredibly rare piece of tattoo history within its collection and put it on display.
18 December 2018
In 1843, public spirit for the Christmas holiday was dwindling. Viewed by many still as a lively pagan festival, the rise of the puritans had a lasting effect on the now sombre celebration which was often seen below Easter and even Boxing Day.
29 November 2018
Shipwrights from The National Museum of the Royal Navy have been assessing wood from trees on an Aberdeenshire estate for use in HMS Victory’s ongoing restoration.
28 November 2018
As the festive season dawns, we often forget the simpler joys of life when visiting. From a gorgeous meal inside Boathouse 4 to experiencing the dockyard at dusk – there’s plenty of things to do to warm the soul this winter. Take time to read our ‘top 10 winter wonders’ guide and be inspired to explore this season.
16 November 2018
We’re pleased to announce the return of the HMS Warrior camera after a short sabbatical, the camera has now been installed up the Mizzen Mast. The new camera now streams in full HD – so sunsets over the camber have never looked so good.
19 October 2018
This Sunday (21st October) will mark the 213th anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar, one of the most significant dates in British Naval history and an occasion which will be marked with ceremony and opportunities to step back in history at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.
17 September 2018
The Panorama of the Battle of Trafalgar was opened in Portsmouth Dockyard, close to HMS Victory, on 29th July 1930 by King George V. At 42 feet by 12 feet (13 metres x 4 metres), perhaps the largest representation of the battle in existence, it can still be seen today, in its original position, but now as part of the displays in our museum.
Since her discovery ten years ago, the wreck of HMS Victory 1744, the predecessor to Nelson’s famous flagship, has captured the imagination of naval enthusiasts and maritime archaeologists.
A summer of must-sees and unforgettable moments at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard continue with a special visit of the Italian tall ship, Amerigo Vespucci.
On August 5 1914 the first shot at sea of the First World War was fired and exactly 104 years later a Lamplight of Peace commemorating the work of the Great War tunnellers and the millions of soldiers, sailors and merchant seamen that lost their lives will embark on its own 100-day journey ending on Remembrance Sunday on 11 November. Its first call is at The National Museum of the Royal Navy, Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.
19 July 2018
All hands on deck! Portsmouth is home to the Royal Navy and Portsmouth Historic Dockyard is the world’s leading destination for naval history, so from today, we’ve changed the name of our 11 attraction ticket to Full Navy Ticket. We want to keep it simple and make the most of what makes us special – and that is the Royal Navy. Our historic ships, museums, artefacts, exhibitions – they all have one thing in common – and that’s the Royal Navy.
It has lain unseen for the last six years but now HMS Victory’s Trafalgar Sail, the only surviving foretopsail from the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805, is set to be on public display until 31 December 2018.
Portsmouth Historic Dockyard will be hosting a free Armed Forces Day event on 30 June 2018, and there will be a special appearance from a full-size replica Spitfire MK26 from Ace Squadron as a special tribute to the past.
A brand new permanant exhibition will open at the Royal Navy Submarine Museum in Gosport on 15 June to mark the anniversary of the first operational patrol of HMS Resolution.
09 May 2018
Portsmouth Historic Dockyard provides the best activities this half term for big and little adventurers. From stepping onboard historic warships to taking part in our Fighting Fit Royal Navy challenges – there’s plenty to see and do. What’s more, kids go free this half term and all activities are included as part of their ticket.
Details of how The National Museum of the Royal Navy is to invest almost £33million in Portsmouth Historic Dockyard and the wider city over the next two years were unveiled today.
14 February 2018
Seven years of chronicling the construction of the Royal Navy’s newest destroyers and monolithic aircraft carriers are the inspiration for Shipyard, a remarkable exhibition by renowned Scottish artist Lachlan Goudie which opens at The National Museum of the Royal Navy, Portsmouth Historic Dockyard on 17 March.
Theirs was a love affair that scandalised society and continues to grip the imagination and this Valentine’s Day, 14 February, visitors to The National Museum of the Royal Navy in Portsmouth Historic Dockyard have a rare chance to get up close and personal to the betrothal ring Vice Admiral Lord Nelson gave to his mistress Emma Hamilton on the eve of his final departure from British soil.
29 January 2018
February half term is about adventuring together and loving the great outdoors and the good indoors. Portsmouth Historic Dockyard provides the best activities this half term for big and little adventurers. From building Lego ships to meeting historic characters – there’s plenty to see and do this half term.
11 January 2018
Best-ever visitor numbers for Portsmouth Historic Dockyard
The National Museum of the Royal Navy is celebrating its best-ever performance across the country and at its managed destination brand, Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.
04 January 2018
Join astrophysicists and cosmologists from the University of Portsmouth's Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation, navigation experts from Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, amateur astronomers from Hampshire Astronomical Group, and more at this free event, exploring navigation through space and time.
The best vantage point of the newly-commissioned aircraft carrier
Best views of Britain’s largest aircraft carrier ever built from Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.
Relive the excitement of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth visiting Portsmouth on Thursday 7 December, when she officially commissioned the HMS Queen Elizabeth. Visitors to Portsmouth Historic Dockyard can take advantage of the very best views of Britain’s largest aircraft carrier ever built.
20 October 2017
- Trademark diamond ornament rediscovered and remade for the first time –
To celebrate Trafalgar Day on 21 October 2017, The National Museum of the Royal Navy has revealed the first authentically recreated replica in diamonds of Vice Admiral Lord Nelson’s fabled lost jewelled chelengk.
An 18-month programme to re-support the world’s most famous warship HMS Victory sagging under her own weight is now underway.
23 June 2017
Cold War submarine HMS Alliance got a dusting of Hollywood magic when it was used as a location for Paramount Picture's Transformers V: The Last Knight. The film is on general release from Friday 23rd June and eagle-eyed fans will see HMS Alliance making an appearance.
22 June 2017
A question we are often asked at the museum is how many men were on board, and who were they? The muster roll for HMS Victory is held in the archives at the library here at the National Museum of the Royal Navy. It names all the crew of the ship at the Battle of Trafalgar, each man on the list being awarded prize money for the enemy ships destroyed or captured during the battle. Besides Lord Nelson and Captain Hardy, there are 820 crew on this list.
21 June 2017
“Reservists give up their spare time to serve in the Reserve Forces, balancing their civilian life with a military career to ensure that should their country require them, they would be ready to serve as part of the military.
The Reserve Forces make up approximately one sixth of our Armed Forces personnel and as such are integral to protecting the nation’s security at home and overseas, particularly providing capability in specialist areas such as medical and cyber.
However, the contribution they make to our Armed Forces often goes unrecognised. As such an annual Reserves Day was created to highlight and recognise the valuable contribution Reservists make to our Armed Forces.
In 2017, Reserves Day is being celebrated on Wednesday 21 June.”
12 June 2017
There will be plenty of flash, bang and wallop at Gosport’s Explosion Museum of Naval Firepower’s Bright Sparks Science Weekend on Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th August. The event runs from 10.00am to 5.00pm on both days.
‘We are remarkably fortunate in having such generous and constant support in our task of ensuring the survival of this famous ship.” These are the words of our Director General Professor Dominic Tweddle as he witnessed the handover of a cheque for £100,000 from the Society of Nautical Research this week towards the ongoing restoration of HMS Victory.
The National Museum of the Royal Navy’s first-ever three day conference got underway on the 101st anniversary of the Battle of Jutland, Wednesday 31st May and runs until Friday 2nd June.
Over 150 people have supported a crowdfunding campaign to save a sole surviving coastal motor boat from the Second World War.
Over 100 staff and volunteers from Portsmouth Historic Dockyard took part in a Dementia Friends training session run by The National Museum of the Royal Navy’s Rachel Goodall this week to mark national Dementia Awareness Week. Dementia Friends is an Alzheimer's Society initiative.
This May half term, families need look no further than Portsmouth Historic Dockyard for an amazing day out. With 11 attractions waiting to be explored, Portsmouth Historic Dockyard promises all ages a day of heroic encounters, experiencing the ins and outs of Britain’s 800 years of ground-breaking naval heritage. It’s the place #WhereAdventuresBegin.
16 May 2017
For the first time in 500 years, scientists are using microbiology to examine some of the human remains from Henry VIII’s flagship Mary Rose to determine if any come from the same person.
Research by Dr Garry Scarlett, a DNA expert at the University of Portsmouth, should enable museum staff to recreate the skeletons of some of the crew.
Thirty years after HMS Warrior 1860 returned to Portsmouth, it has been announced that her owners, the Warrior Preservation Trust, merged with The National Museum of the Royal Navy as of 1st April 2017.
As Britain’s first iron-clad battleship, Warrior is one of the most influential warships ever built and a key attraction at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, welcoming 330,000 visitors a year. She was built as Queen Victoria’s deterrent against rumoured French invasion, and was so advanced and powerfully armed that she completed her job without ever firing a shot in anger during ten years of front line service.
The esteemed and visionary philanthropist, the late Sir John Smith, funded her restoration in Hartlepool, which at the time was the world’s most ambitious heritage ship repair ever. The community of Portsmouth generously funded and built the jetty on which the ship is berthed, and continues to provide extraordinary support to the Trust’s work in recognition of her gateway position in the harbour.
The Warrior Preservation Trust is an independent charity with the purpose of preserving the ship and maintaining her on display for the benefit and education of the public. It employs 40 staff and is supported by 70 volunteers. There will be no immediate change for staff and volunteers and the Chief Executive of the Warrior Preservation Trust and Captain of the ship, Commander Tim Ash will remain in post.
All hospitality bookings and other committed work will be honoured, and the ship’s business will continue as usual. Her £4.2m upper deck conservation work – made possible thanks to National Lottery players - is unaffected with completion due at Easter 2018.
Established in 2009, the National Museum of the Royal Navy already owns a number of key historic ships and collections in Portsmouth, Gosport and nationally. These include HMS Victory, First World War monitor HMS M.33, the Royal Navy Submarine Museum and Explosion Museum of Naval Firepower. It will open the new Royal Marines Museum at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard in 2020 alongside an innovative Centre for Discovery which will transform naval heritage at its headquarters at The National Museum of the Royal Navy Portsmouth.
The National Museum has raised over £100 million for major capital and conservation projects and its visitor numbers have grown from 325,000 each year to over one million nationally. It is now the third most visited attraction in the UK outside of London and manages the destination brand Portsmouth Historic Dockyard on behalf of partners the Mary Rose Trust and the Portsmouth Naval Base Property Trust which owns Action Stations and Boathouse 4.
Professor Dominic Tweddle, Director General of the National Museum said: “Warrior is a fantastic ship which tells an incredibly important part of our naval story and we are very excited to welcome her into our fleet.
“We congratulate the Warrior Preservation Trust for the brilliant job it has done in saving her and in caring for her thus far, but both our Boards of Trustees now feel that being part of a National Museum which cares for the national collection of historic naval vessels is the right way to go in view of Warrior’s national significance.
“We will now work with the Warrior’s ship’s company to ensure a smooth transition and ensure that the ship remains afloat and dominating the city’s seascape for a further 30 years at least.”
Chief Executive of the Warrior Preservation Trust, and Captain of the Ship, Commander Tim Ash said: “We have worked closely with the National Museum as partners for many years, and feel that the time is right for us to align our shared expertise more closely. Our new relationship will allow us to tell Warrior’s story more effectively, and merge our efforts in meeting better the needs of our great historic fleet of ships”.
• Commemorative visit by HRH The Princess Royal comes nearly a year after successful opening of Boathouse 4.
• The team has reintroduced traditional wooden boatbuilding and training, restoring, repairing and maintaining a fleet of historic small boats and telling the story of these “Forgotten Craft”.
HRH The Princess Royal will make a commemorative visit to Boathouse 4 in Portsmouth Historic Dockyard on the afternoon of Monday 20th March.
The original Second World War boathouse, which dominates the entrance to the Historic Dockyard, has been transformed by Portsmouth Naval Base Property Trust (PNBPT). The Trust has funded the £5.7M project with the help of grants from the Heritage Lottery Fund (£3.75M), the Government’s Regional Growth Fund (£479K) and several charitable foundations.
Opened last year, the Boathouse has a rich heritage based around small craft in the Royal Navy. It was the workshop for building and repairing a large fleet of small boats including many landing craft which took part in D-Day. Small craft were vital for the effective operations of the Royal Navy, which needed thousands of small boats in all manner of deployments, both in war and peace time.
Peter Goodship, Consultant Chief Executive of Portsmouth Naval Base Property Trust said: “Visitors are fascinated by the history of the small boats and how we are revitalising much-needed traditional skills. We are delighted to welcome HRH The Princess Royal to Boathouse 4 and for her to meet the team who have worked so hard to transform this very important building.”
The Princess Royal will view “The Forgotten Craft” exhibition which tells the story of these key vessels and then meet descendants from Coastal Forces, a branch of the Royal Navy, commonly known as “The Spitfires of the Sea” which celebrated its centenary last year.
Boathouse 4 is now home to the International Boatbuilding Training College and Highbury College’s Solent Marine Academy and The Princess Royal will see students restoring, repairing and maintaining a number of historic boats. These include the F8 landing craft from the Falklands War and Lively Lady, the yacht sailed by Sir Alec Rose around the world in 1968.
The visit will conclude with The Princess Royal unveiling a plaque in Midships, the newest restaurant to be opened on the site. Weather permitting HRH will finish the visit with a round trip of the harbour on the Second World War HSL 102, the only surviving example of the 100 class high speed launch stationed at RAF Calshot during the Battle of Britain which retrieved shot down airmen from the sea.
07 February 2017
The National Museum of the Royal Navy has announced that the closure of the main galleries of the Royal Marines Museum will take place on April 1st.
As a result, the public galleries of the museum at Eastney will close. The museum will remain open for its corporate (conferences and weddings) and curatorial functions and its associated organisations * will continue to operate from the museum. The sea front car park and the Royal Marines Memorial Gardens will remain open to the public. A consultation about the Yomper statue on the seafront closes at the end of February. All existing bookings for corporate events and weddings will be fulfilled up to and including November 2018.
The decision to close is part of the development plan following the awarding, in 2016, of £13.85m from the Heritage Lottery Fund towards the SeaMore project which will allow for the much-needed move of the Royal Marines Museum to Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. This has the potential of increasing visitor numbers to the museum twenty-fold.
Professor Dominic Tweddle, Director General of The National Museum of the Royal Navy said: “Of course, change is always challenging, but by 2020 we are committed to delivering a world class Royal Marines Museum which appropriately recognises the heroism and sacrifice of this elite service. The closure of the Eastney galleries is one of the necessary steps to achieve that goal.”
The new Royal Marines Museum will open in 2020 and be a state of the art museum containing the very latest in technology and hands-on activity. It will occupy the present Action Stations building, one of the original Victorian Boathouses, close to the Victory Gate visitor entrance. The main part of the building, including the historic Mast Pond in front, will be completely refurbished to provide a new museum.
The SeaMore project is now starting development work on the new galleries which will show the Royal Marines story in a new and different way, displaying around 30% more than the present museum. Current exhibits need to be dismantled, key artefacts need to be conserved and refurbished and new displays need to be worked out and planned.
The funding will also create the country’s newest national museum collection in an innovative Centre for Discovery at the National Museum’s base in Portsmouth. The project was boosted by a very welcome £2million contribution from the LIBOR fund for military-related charities.
As part of the Centre for Discovery, over two million artefacts, currently kept in 30 separate stores within 14 buildings across nine sites, will be relocated and made accessible to visitors in a bold move to revolutionise the way the epic story of the Royal Navy is told.
*Note: Associated organisations based at the Eastney Museum are the Friends of the RM Museum, the RM Historical Society, The RM Association Concert Band, and the Fort Cumberland Guard.
04 January 2017
• New date released for panel discussion
• “Question Time” panel debate on Battle of Jutland chaired by popular TV historian and broadcaster Dan Snow
• International panel confirmed
Following the centenary year commemorations for the Battle of Jutland last year, a clash considered the defining naval battle of the First World War, a “Question Time” debate chaired by popular TV historian and broadcaster Dan Snow has been rescheduled and will now take place on Thursday 2nd February.
The big debate, run by The National Museum of the Royal Navy, promises to get to the heart of a battle that has divided opinion for 100 years and takes place on Thursday 2nd February at 7pm in Action Stations, Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.
The battle was often considered a German victory due to the number of British lives lost, 6,094 to the Germans 2,551 however the British maintained numerical supremacy on the day.
Although the battle had a huge human cost, most British losses were tactically insignificant, with the exception of HMS Queen Mary, and the Grand Fleet was ready for action again the next day. One month after the battle the Grand Fleet was stronger than it had been before sailing to Jutland. By contrast, so shaken were the Germans by the weight of the British response that they never again seriously challenged British control of the North Sea.
The international panel will be chaired by British historian and broadcaster Dan Snow. He said: “Jutland was the climax of centuries of naval warfare, the last time two fleets of big gunned battleships contested control of the seas.”
Joining the panel is Stephan Huck, the Director of the German Naval Museum where he has curated several exhibitions including „Skagerrak. Seeschlacht ohne Sieger – Jutland. The unfinished Battle.“ Also on the panel is Naval historian Dr Andrew Gordon, author of The Rules of the Game, for many, the definitive book on the battle and Dr Laura Rowe, lecturer at the University of Exeter whose primary research interest focuses on the social and cultural history of the First World War and on the Royal Navy in particular.
The final panel member is Nick Hewitt, author, broadcaster and naval historian and the National Museum’s project leader for the blockbuster exhibition that opened in May at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard 36 Hours: Jutland 1916, The Battle That Won The War.
Director of the German Naval Museum, Stephan Huck said: “In the aftermath of the Skagerrakschlacht (The Battle of Jutland) it occupied an important place of remembrance for German society and particularly the German Navy. However it became largely forgotten in the second half of the 20th century. The centenary of the First World War led to a national recovery of the First World War in Germany and offered the chance to bring the history of the Battle of Jutland back to light.
“It gave the opportunity to describe the battle as an important turning point in the history of the First World War: despite the declared victory it prompted the decision to restart unrestricted U-boat warfare with the fatal consequence of the entry of the United States into the war.
“Now with the distance of a hundred years it is possible to objectively compare the British and the German view on the battle and the circumstances that led to it. This illuminates unexpected similarities in the navies on both sides of the English Channel at the beginning of First World War. Both exhibitions and events like this debate enable us to present both perspectives and to pay tribute to those involved.”
Nick Hewitt, curator of the National Museum’s exhibition 36 Hours: Jutland 1916, The Battle That Won The War said: “The Battle of Jutland is the Royal Navy’s defining moment in The Great War, and perhaps the largest sea battle in history. It’s the only event in the national First World War centenary programme which is wholly naval in character. As a naval historian, it’s a great privilege to be involved in a debate like this and I’m absolutely sure our visitors will be as engaged by this epic, tragic story as we are.”
Ticket buyers are being urged to submit their questions online for consideration before January 27th. The type of questions that may be posed include did the battle win the war? What of the social impact on Britain and Germany? Are blockades ever morally justified and why does Jutland matter today?
Tickets cost £10 (no concessions) are available online at www.historicdockyard.co.uk/jutland-debate or at the Visitor Centre at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard between 10am – 4pm daily.
06 December 2016
The story of a Royal Marine bandsman who fought at the Battle of Jutland a century ago is to be told at a blockbuster exhibition from The National Museum of the Royal Navy (NMRN).
The fragment of a trombone played by Bandsman Frederick Charles Palfreman, his medals, a photograph and newspaper clipping are now on display at 36 Hours: Jutland 1916, The Battle That Won The War, the immersive new exhibition at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.
Bandsman Palfreman, born on April 1 1899 in Pimlico, London, fought on HMS Warspite at Jutland, the greatest naval battle ever fought which claimed the lives of nearly 9,000 sailors from Britain and Germany.
He played trombone in the Royal Marines Band having studied, it is believed, at the RM School of Music at Eastney, Portsmouth.
Bandsman Palfreman, second from left, back row
His son David Palfreman sent in the artefacts. He said: “My father never spoke in any detail about his experience at Jutland except to say the noise and fires were indescribable, although the ‘going round in circles’ episode with all guns blazing and the Warspite rolling alarmingly as a result had clearly been, subsequently, a source of wry amusement.
“He died in 1987, aged 88, and since then, as I’ve got older, I have so regretted not talking to him about his experience in the Royal Marines - he was so young. I remember him marching rather than walking, in the way marine bandsmen do, and beating in time to any music that might be playing. He rarely became excited but the Royal Navy Field Gun competition was an annual exception.
“I’ve had the artefacts for many years but the 100th anniversary of Jutland made we wonder if they would be of interest to an audience outside the family. I’m surprised and very pleased by the interest but my overwhelming feeling is one of pride in my dad with thoughts of how I would have behaved aged 17 in the battle - I had just started my A Levels!”
Head of Heritage and Development at The NMRN, Nick Hewitt, said: “We were delighted and very grateful to be able to borrow this extraordinary set of objects, which together make up a very unusual Jutland tale.
“I think they really make two important points so well; that everyone on a warship was exposed to the same risk, even the band, and also that there were many participants on both sides who would today be considered children.”
Visitors wishing to visit 36 Hours: Jutland 1916, The Battle That Won The War can purchase a Jutland All Attraction Package. This allows the recipient to access the exhibition and ten other attractions at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, including The Mary Rose, HMS Victory and HMS Warrior 1860, and also the Harbour Tours, HMS Alliance at the Royal Navy Submarine Museum and Explosion Museum of Naval Firepower, both in Gosport. It also gets the ticket holder entry to the Royal Marines Museum in Eastney, Portsmouth.
28 November 2016
18th February 2017, The National Museum of the Royal Navy, Portsmouth Historic Dockyard
‘Pioneers to Professionals: Women and the Royal Navy’ will open to the public 18th February 2017 and focus on the history of women working in the Naval Service. The exhibition will reveal some of the lesser-known stories of women dating right back to the Age of Sail more than 250 years ago when women’s contribution was disguised or unofficial.
The exhibition will open in the centenary year of the Woman’s Royal Naval Service (WRNS) formation. Furthermore, the National Museum of the Royal Navy, Portsmouth Historic Dockyard will host an official launch of the exhibition on International Women’s Day 8 March 2017, a day which celebrates the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.
Women working in an official capacity for the Royal Navy were disguised prior to the establishment of the first female uniformed service the Naval Nursing Service in 1884, later renamed the Queen Alexandra’s Royal Naval Nursing Service in 1903. The WRNS formed in 1917. A uniformed women’s involvement in the Royal Navy directly confronted gender equality issues that still profoundly affect us today. As such, this exhibition aims to highlight women’s involvement and impact in both world wars, the Cold War, integration of the WRNS with the Royal Navy and the continued efforts of female personnel today.
The objects in the exhibition will illustrate the role of women in the navy in the widest spectrum, ranging from a rare First World War Ratings uniform (only 5,500 women served during the 20 months the service operated in the First World War) to an oboe owned by a member of the Royal Marine Band Service. Key issues for women in the Navy are also addressed, objects such as a Naval Officer’s maternity dress indicate the key differences and concerns that women face whilst in service.
Earlier this year a time capsule was discovered, buried at Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose in 1974 by the then head of the WRNS, Commandant Mary Talbot. It contained everyday items that defined the life of a WRN including badges, descriptions of their trades, clothing and official documents. This discovery prompted a call for artefacts for the exhibition.
Curator Victoria Ingles said “Historically the work of naval women was rarely recorded and often overlooked, yet thousands have actively contributed to worldwide naval operations over centuries. During this time women have undertaken a huge range of jobs and have often confounded expectations about what they could do and this exhibition seeks to bring some of these inspirational stories to attention. We are also keen to highlight the everyday experience of naval women past and present and are encouraging visitors to contribute their own stories helping us to fully reflect the scale and significance of women’s work within the navy.”
25 November 2016
Statement from Professor Dominic Tweddle, Director General of The National Museum of the Royal Navy. November 25 2016
We are delighted to announce that The National Museum of the Royal Navy has been able to secure the medals and log books of Captain Eric “Winkle” Brown following the intervention of an incredibly generous donor. It is fair to say that Captain Brown was by many measures the Fleet Air Arm’s most significant pilot of the post-war period and we are thrilled and honoured to be able to class this collection as one of our own.
16 November 2016
Today’s evacuation of Portsmouth Historic Dockyard following the discovery of a 500lb Luftwaffe bomb is an inconvenience, but we should perhaps reflect on the extraordinary ferocity of the wartime attacks on Portsmouth whose lethal legacy initiated it.
28 October 2016
Wellbeing survey reveals that new experiences are the most important factor for Brits when choosing a Great British day out.
Portsmouth Historic Dockyard has canvassed the opinions of nearly 2,000 people from the UK, revealing the ingredients for a “Great British Day Out” and how days out affect our overall wellbeing and work/life balance.
27 September 2016
• Nelson enthusiast Kate Jamieson taking modern HMS Victory flag to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro
• She is raising money for Guillain-Barré and Associated Inflammatory Neuropathies (GAIN), a charity which supports those affected by Guillain-Barré Syndrome and other associated inflammatory neuropathies
A self-confessed ‘Nelson Nut’ has been handed a modern HMS Victory flag by The National Museum of the Royal Navy (NMRN) to wave when she reaches the top of a Mount Kilimanjaro climb.
Kate Jamieson, 26, who appeared on Mastermind in 2013 on the subject of Lord Nelson, visited Portsmouth Historic Dockyard to be given the flag on board Victory.
“I was told to take something personal with me to the summit. A lot of people take football flags, shirts but I think given my background and love of naval history, and where Victory is where it all began, this is probably one of the few objects that would sum me up as a person!”
Kate visited Victory when she was a child, picking up a museum book on Nelson. She said she found him fascinating.
She added: “For one man, he managed to leave a huge mark in history and he led a very interesting life.”
The NMRN’s Head of Heritage Development, Nick Hewitt, said: “We love to inspire people, like Kate, and for them to take something special away from visiting any of the museum’s attractions.
“It’s fantastic she has chosen to take on this climb for charity and we wish her all the best. We look forward to seeing her with our Victory flag at the summit!”
Kate, who’s living in Eastleigh, will be climbing Mt Kilimanjaro’s summit on October 10. The climb is expected to last around six days from start to finish. She is doing it for charity, in memory of a relative who passed away recently.
She has been doing 10 mile walks and intensive gym sessions to get in shape for the big climb.
She returns in time for Trafalgar Day on October 21.
Kate wants to raise more than £500 for a charity called the Guillain-Barré & Associated Inflammatory Neuropathies (GAIN), which supports those affected by Guillain-Barré Syndrome and other associated inflammatory neuropathies.
14 September 2016
• Discovery of time capsule prompts nationwide appeal for artefacts
• Everyday items of Wren life sought
25 August 2016
• 73% of Brits value new experiences as the most important factor for a perfect day out
• 80% seek a mixture of outdoor and indoor attractions on a day out
• 24% of adults opt for cultural destinations
08 August 2016
The final group of MA students studying fine art are to put on an exciting exhibition at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard from August 19 to September 2.
This year marks the very last fine art exhibition at the University of Portsmouth. The last six MA students wanted to hold the Exodus MA Fine Art Exhibition at Action Stations as a celebration of fine art at the university and the city.
HMS Hood bell unveiled on 75th anniversary of sinking
HRH The Princess Royal strikes eight bells at midday
Official opening of Battle of Jutland exhibition gives first sight of conserved bell from “The Mighty Hood”
19 May 2016
• A Major Heritage Lottery Fund grant will create the country’s newest national collection at The National Museum of the Royal Navy in Portsmouth Historic Dockyard
• Access to naval heritage will be transformed as key artefacts from five museums across the National Museum will be relocated to one Centre for Discovery
• The grant allows for the much-needed move of The Royal Marines Museum, broadening the massive appeal of the Royal Marines story to visitors at the heart of naval heritage
21 March 2016
• New Battle of Trafalgar colours and greatly improved visitor route around Admiral Lord Nelson’s flagship are a revelation
• Visitors can now access never-before-seen areas of the ship, including the Poop Deck and Nelson’s Great Cabin – increasing the space visitors can walk around by a massive 80%
National Museum of the Royal Navy launches an innovative digital project to map stories of the people at the Battle of Jutland
Timber has long been a vital backbone for shipbuilding and famously HMS Victory was built from over 5,500 oak trees, 250 years ago. It even inspired the Royal Navy’s anthem Hearts of Oak. That strong tradition will now continue with a generous donation of timber from three estates in Aberdeenshire that will ensure that the ship survives for the foreseeable future.
Explosion Museum of Naval Firepower in Gosport is asking residents to raid their attics and dig out old photographs and items as part of an exciting new project.
The new project – Priddy’s People – aims to bring to life the stories of local men and women who worked at the 18th century Royal Navy Armament Depot, Priddy’s Hard, which is now Explosion Museum.
The collection of handling artefacts will feature as part of a free street party event held in the museum grounds on Bank Holiday Monday, 2nd May.
Community Outreach Officer at the National Museum of the Royal Navy, Jo Valentine, said: “We use handling artefacts in a number of ways with community and school groups at our museum. They could be a starting point for a discussion, inspiration for an artwork and simply help tell the story of the workers at Priddy’s Hard.
“An artefact isn’t just something that you would put monetary value on – they aren’t always made of gold or the finest china. Often they are quirky and not always over 100 years old. They could simply be a worker’s manual, a clocking in card or a Priddy’s Hard football trophy made of scrap tin won by someone’s Grandad.
“Artefacts are a snapshot in time and reflect the people and the social change at a certain period. Artefacts can be used to unlock memories of a time gone by, an emotion, be it joy or even anger and help someone connect with the past. They are incredibly valuable in telling the human story of an historical site such as Priddy’s Hard.”
Drop-in sessions for people to bring in items and photographs of Priddy’s Hard have been organised for the following dates at Explosion:
Tuesday, 16th Feb, 11am – 1pm
Thursday, 7th April, 2.15pm- 4.15pm
25 January 2016
‘36 Hours: Jutland 1916, The Battle That Won The War’ Blockbuster Exhibition to open at the National Museum of the Royal Navy, Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, 19th May 2016.
26 November 2015
Guns that saw action at Jutland are travelling from Orkney to be shown as part of the main UK exhibition on the key naval battle of the First World War.
24 November 2015
This November the Mary Rose will embark upon the next stage in her long and remarkable history.
This exciting chapter of the Mary Rose Museum will see an extraordinary transformation in visitor experience. The walls that currently separate visitors from the ship will be replaced with glazing to provide unrestricted views of the hull from bow to stern in all nine galleries and on all three levels. For the first time since she was raised from the Solent in 1982 visitors will also be able to share the same space as the Mary Rose, entering the upper deck through an air lock, allowing visitors to experience the full splendour and magnitude of the Mary Rose.
05 November 2015
• Descendant of Admiral Lord Nelson visits his famous ship HMS Victory at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard
• Fourth great granddaughter of Nelson moved to tears after experiencing story of Nelson at Battle of Trafalgar first hand
16 October 2015
The National Museum of the Royal Navy (NMRN) is excited to announce its major contributions to commemorate the centenary of the Battle of Jutland for 2016, highlighting the pivotal role played by the Royal Navy.
02 September 2015
The Mary Rose Trust is delighted to announce the appointment of a new Chief Executive, Helen Bonser-Wilton. Helen will take over the post from Rear Admiral John Lippiett who retires this September after twelve and a half years in the position.
On 6th August The National Museum of the Royal Navy (NMRN) will open HMS M.33 to the public for the first time in her history, following a distinctive and extensive conservation project funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).
On behalf of all stakeholders operating within the Historic Dockyard, Portsmouth Naval Base Property Trust is pleased to announce Latz & Partner as the winner of its Architectural Competition for the Hard Landscaping of this internationally renowned historic site.
The National Museum of the Royal Navy (NMRN), Portsmouth has announced a historically accurate re-painting of HMS Victory, the most celebrated ship in naval history, in collaboration with expert conservators Crick Smith, University of Lincoln.
The historic ships and museums of Portsmouth Historic Dockyard are celebrating winning this year’s Excellence Award from global internet media company Travelzoo.
Princess Alexandra yesterday visited HMS Warrior 1860 to formally open the Heritage Lottery Funded (HLF) Project awarded to undertake vital repair works that will secure the future of HMS Warrior 1860, one of the most influential warships ever built. This formal visit also marks the recent retirement of Chairman Rear Admiral Bawtree CB & Trustee Lord Wakeham. HRH Princess Alexandra visited the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard on 23 June 2015.
This summer, Portsmouth Historic Dockyard will host the world premiere of an ambitious new dance theatre production.
The Seafarers is by internationally acclaimed Stopgap Dance Company, which has toured around the world. It has been commissioned by Portsmouth Festivities with funding from Arts Council England and The Portsmouth Grammar School, to celebrate an important part of the city’s heritage.