The new HMS Victory: The Nation’s Flagship gallery tells the extraordinary story of this National Treasure from acorn to Icon.

Open on 17 May 2021 the new gallery details the extraordinary story of the oldest naval ship still in commission, in the world and explores her lesser-known history.

Generously funded by the Society of Nautical Research and The HMS Victory Preservation Company, the gallery will display previously unseen objects from this remarkable survivor including a section of HMS Victory’s original mainmast, damaged at the Battle of Trafalgar, which is on display in an exhibition for the first time in Portsmouth.

Visitors are introduced to the people, both famous and not so famous, behind the ship’s 256-year history and adds to her rich story with new snippets of information for even the most ardent Victory fans.  Going beyond Victory’s immortalised role at the Battle of Trafalgar the gallery explores her story through a mixture of large format cinematic film, interactives, newly displayed and previously unseen artefacts like the spectacular ten-foot-tall, 200-year-old figurehead. It also charts her decline and rescue in the 1920s by the Society of Nautical Research (SNR) and the dramatic events when she could have been permanently lost to the nation. 

The building in which the exhibition is housed sits immediately across from Victory and is dedicated to the late Vice-Admiral Sir Donald Gosling, generous benefactor to the ship. Since 1930 it has housed W L Wyllie’s The Panorama of the Battle of Trafalgar, which measuring 13 metres x 4 metres is perhaps the largest representation of the battle in existence. The Panorama has been redisplayed and digitally reinterpreted so visitors can get even closer to it. 

The gallery forms part of an enhanced visitor offer for HMS Victory which, in addition to a self-guided tour of the ship, now includes the ability to walk down into the dry dock under the enormous hull on a dedicated walkway, weaving through the recently completed state of the art support system. 

Construction and conservation will be major themes in the display drawing comparisons between ship building skills 200 years ago and the painstaking work still undertaken today.

Pre-booking remains essential. Details of this and further COVID safety measures can be found on the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard website.



Buy your tickets online and book your time slot in advance!

Click on the links below and put in your Barcode ID to book your time slot.

Please note that a visit to the Submarine and Explosion Museums will need to be booked separately from a visit to the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.

Book Your Visit to Portsmouth Historic Dockyard >

Book Your Visit to Gosport  Sites >

Bought a new ticket to the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard or our Gosport sites while we were closed and want to visit, or want to book your return visit? Click on the link above and put in your Barcode ID to book your time slot.

Please note that a visit to the Submarine and Explosion Museums will need to be booked separately from a visit to the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.