Royal Naval Museum

Children exploring artefacts in the Sailing Navy Gallery

View of the Victory Gallery with Ship's figurehead in the foreground


Your Visit

The history of the Royal Navy dates back over a thousand years to King Alfred's first battle at sea in 882. The Navy has defended Britain from invasion, attacked enemies and eventually established Britain as the dominant world sea power in the 19th century. Today's role involves peacekeeping, fighting piracy and the prevention of drug trafficking. The influence of the Navy can be felt at every level in our society: in our speech, literature, dress, music, character, culture and customs. The history of the Navy is to a remarkable extent the history of Britain.

The Royal Naval Museum, in Portsmouth's Historic Dockyard, is one of Britain’s oldest maritime museums. The Museum’s mission is to preserve and present the history of the 'Fleet' - the ships and the men and women who manned them.

Find out what is on offer in each of the galleries, including answers to Frequently Asked Questions about the subjects they cover, by clicking on the links on the left.