The Royal Naval Museum is located within a number of historic buildings within Portsmouth’s Historic Dockyard. Storehouse No11 was built from 1763 onwards and is used to store many of the galleries of the Museum. The Royal Naval Museum was founded in 1911 and is one of the oldest maritime museums in the country. During the 19th century HMS Victory was moored in Portsmouth Harbour and visitors were allowed aboard and they could also view a small Nelson collection.
The small Nelson museum was moved ashore to a specially built museum in the dockyard that was completed in 1938. This building was called the Victory building and was on the site of an old rigging house opposite HMS Victory.
The museum consists of a victory gallery, sailing navy gallery, nelson gallery, babcock galleries, chasing freedom, sea your history and also many temporary exhibitions. The Victory gallery tells the story of the ship and the people who served in her. It contains a multi-media experience allowing you to experience the Briefing Room, Gun Deck and Cockpit. The gallery also contains Victory’s original figurehead, information about restoring Victory and the royal barge used in Nelson’s funeral.
The sailing Navy Gallery which is located within the storehouse and includes an interactive computer exhibit, health issues of the Royal Navy, hand to hand fighting and portraits of naval officers. The Nelson gallery contains artefacts relating to Nelson including a Nelson Figure, Nelsons story and portraits.
The Babcock galleries contain HMS – Hear My Story and Racing to War which were opened on 3rd April 2014.
HMS Victory's original top sail is on display in Storehouse No 10. The sail is a unique example of an early 19th century sail and besides the ship herself is the largest single artefact to survive from the Battle Of Trafalgar.
The Royal Naval museum charts the history of the royal navy from its origins right up to the royal navy today. The museum is ideally situated close to the Mary Rose, HMS Victory, Warrior, and close to the latest ships the navy are using.
The Royal Naval Museum is housed in three storehouses (pictured above), built to supply the Nelsonian fleet. For a history of Submarines the Submarine Museum Gosport should be visited or for a history of the Royal Marines the Marines Museum, Eastney should be visited.
Another good site to visit to find out information about the Royal Navy is the Navy's site at www.royal-navy.mod.uk. The entrance to the start of the Royal Naval Museum is located opposite HMS Victory.
For more information about this attraction please see the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard website.
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