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.
HMS Victory Under Hull Walkway Experience
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.
Visit this Half Term
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.