The story of naval warfare is told in dramatic style at Explosion, Gosport, an interactive museum housed in the Royal Navy’s former Ordnance Depot at Priddy’s Hard, centred around the powder magazine designed in 1771.


Priddy’s Hard was far enough from the main dockyard for the safe storage of up to 6,500 barrels of gunpowder. In the Napoleonic Wars, this was where all Royal Navy warships including HMS Victory came to load up their guns and ammunition, collecting them from small boats called ‘powder hoys’ which had in turn collected barrels of gunpowder carried in barrows down the Rolling Way to the harbour edge.

The site has adapted as times have changed. With the introduction of breech loading guns in the late 1850s, it was no longer necessary to make barrels or test gunpowder here and a series of large magazines were built to fill and store shells. In the 1880s, the substitution of highly explosive cordite for gunpowder as a propellant required the building of a narrow gauge railway to transport ordnance between filling and storage buildings. Change continued through the 20th century with the development of torpedoes, depth charges and small arms up to the arrival of guided missiles in the 1960s. The last time Priddy’s Hard supplied weapons to the Royal Navy was during the Falklands War in 1982.

opening times

Explosion Museum of Naval Power is open:

Normal Opening hours are Wednesday – Sunday 10am – 4.30pm

Opening hours are extended for the School Holidays. Therefore we will be additionally open Monday’s and Tuesdays (10-4.30) on the following dates:

April 4, 5, 11, 12, 18 and 19.

We are open 5 days a week (Weds – Sun) all year except school holidays where we are 7 days a week.

Pre-booking is advised but we do accept walk up visitors. Discounts are offered on pre-booked tickets.

Booking your day/time slot is essential.

getting to explosion museum of naval firepower

Heritage Way, Priddy's Hard, Gosport PO12 4LE

A Waterbus from the Historic Dockyard runs regularly to the museum, however is currently running at reduced capacity due to government COVID-19 restrictions.

The Waterbus is unfortunately unable to accommodate wheelchairs, due to the unsuitability of the jetty and steps. A wheelchair can be pre-arranged to meet the waterbus on arrival in Gosport. Please ask a member of staff for details or email GosportDutyManager@nmrn.org.uk to confirm availability.    

camber lights café

Open to everyone

Enjoy one of Gosport's best kept secrets when you visit Camber Lights Café at Explosion Museum of Naval Firepower. Sit back and admire the scenic surroundings of Portsmouth Harbour - an ideal viewpoint for seeing HMS Queen Elizabeth when she's alongside Portsmouth Naval Base. 

The café serves a range of cold and hot drinks, cakes and snacks - perfect for hungry adventurers. The café is open to non-museum visitors as well. Open when Explosion Museum of Naval Firepower is open.

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

Please note that a visit to the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard will need to be booked separately from a visit to the Gosport sites.

Follow the link above to find out how you can extend your expiry date and re-visit the museum

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