Monday 17 April 2017

Portsmouth Dockyard - A Birthday Treat

It was my Birthday yesterday and as a treat I had the whole day in Portsmouth Historic Docks. For those that are not familiar this is the home of the British Navy and one the best military museums in the country. This is the home of HMS Victory, the Mary Rose and HMS Warrior as well as several other vessels. The last time I was here was in 2007 and quite a lot has changed since then. 

HMS Victory sporting a new (and historically accurate) colour scheme. 

Recent renovation work discovered over 70 layers of paint backwards through the vessels history. Combined with documentary evidence the new colours match the colour Victory was at Trafalgar. 

One of Victory's gundecks

Another Gundeck. My pictures make this look brighter than it actually was. Even with the hatches open its a dark and gloomy place...filled with smoke and the screams of wounded men it must have been a vision of hell.

The place where Nelson died is marked by a simple lamp and wreath
carved into the woodwork. 

The Audio Tour of Victory has been greatly improved and is probably one of the best examples I have come across.  

I was very impressed with the Audio Tour of Victory. Its been updated and improved considerably since my last visit and I think the new version is one of the best I have come across. Step by step the tour walks visitors through the weeks and days leading up to the battle. The tension builds as the fleets approach each other and battle commences. The action is graphically narrated but is clear enough for visitors to visualise the action and understand the key moments in the battle. 

After the Victory we crossed over to the Mary Rose exhibition. This Tudor warship sank in 1545 and was raised in 1982 along with thousands of unique and well preserved artefacts. 

One of the Breech Loading guns (minus the breech bit) found on the wreck. 

A Muzzle Loaded gun also from the Mary Rose

HMS M33 - A Monitor Class ship and a rare survivor of the Galipoli campaign. 

HMS Warrior the first Iron Hulled warship.

One of the Gun Decks

HSL 102, is the only surviving example of the 100 class high speed launch and was stationed at RAF Calshot during the Battle of Britain.

Part of the Battle of Jutland exhibition

Our entry tickets last for a year so we will definitely be coming back sometime later this year. There is plenty more we didn't have time to see so a second visit is an absolute must... 


  1. Great photos. Interesting to see that they have got rid of the weird orange stripes on the Victory and gone back to the cream I remember from when I was small.

  2. While I was on exchange serving with the RN I was based there in Type 42 Destroyers. Lived about a mile away and had a grand view of both Victory and Warrior from my bedroom window. Looking forward to going back one day, soon hopefully!

  3. Thanks for sharing these photos. For those of us on the other side of 'the pond' they're a welcome visit into England's military history.

  4. Thanks for these terrific photos, this place is on my bucket list.

  5. PS - many happy returns and birthday blessings.


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