Royal Naval Museum



Friends of the Royal Naval Museum and HMS Victory

If you are interested in Britain’s maritime heritage and particularly inspired by the story of the Royal Navy we invite you to join The Friends of the Royal Naval Museum and HMS Victory. The Friends were formed in 1976 to support the newly created Royal Naval Museum and have assisted by helping to finance specific projects, purchasing and collecting important items and undertaking research in the Museum’s archives.

Friends’ privileges include free entry to the museum and through reciprocal agreements access to other local museums. Members receive two bulletins and a yearbook annually with a wide range of events and lectures being held in the Museum and HMS Victory many of which are free.

In association with other local friends groups, visits are jointly arranged to places of interest, locally, nationally and occasionally overseas.

The Royal Naval Museum

The Museum is based in the Georgian Storehouses in the Heritage Area of Her Majesty’s Naval Base at Portsmouth and tells the story of the Royal Navy since its inception. Award-winning exhibitions completed under the first phase of a multi-million pound redevelopment plan include the History of the Sailing Navy and Nelson, the great naval commander. The Victory Gallery is the link with HMS Victory telling the story of the ship, and includes the Trafalgar Experience which allows the visitor to understand and experience battle on the gun-deck of a British sailing warship. The Friends financed and commissioned a quarter scale model of HMS Victory’s original figurehead as their contribution to phase I of the redevelopment programme and this has now been installed at the entrance of the Victory Gallery. The Museum is now planning a major exhibition of its 20th century collections.

HMS Victory

Since 1922 the Society of Nautical Research has shouldered the task of restoring HMS Victory to her condition at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. The Ministry of Defence continues to carry out the main structural repairs to the hull and rigging and much work is being carried out to restore the interior to original condition. The Friends are helping to finance some of the replica items that will be displayed in the restored areas.

The Museum’s Boats

The Museum’s boats include the steam pinnace which was built a century ago and has now been restored to operational condition; the boiler and engine having been restored with the aid of a grant from the Friends. The pinnace is used in and around Portsmouth Harbour for Royal and ceremonial occasions and manned and maintained by volunteers.