Royal Naval Museum

View of stern of HMS VICTORY

Figureheads on upper floor of the Victory Gallery

Photograph of W L Wyllie and his daughter Aileen painting the Panoram of Trafalgar

Victory Gallery

Right alongside HMS Victory herself, this exhibition tells the story of the famous ship, and the people who served in her.

The gallery includes

Trafalgar! - a multi-media experience. Based on the very latest research, it tells the story of the famous battle and the people who fought in it. You can stand on the gundeck of the Victory and feel what it must have been like to be there on 21 October 1805. Click here for information for parents.

The 'Experience' has four main sections:

  • The Briefing Room - An audio-visual presentation. Nelson and Napoleon explain their tactics and some of the main participants are introduced

Nelson explains his tactics: stills from film presentation

  • The Gun Deck - An authentic recreation of one section of the Victory's gundeck - complete with moving guns and a very realistic sound track!

View of mannequins in the recreation of Victory's gundeck

  • The Cockpit - A recreation of the bloody scenes in the Victory's cockpit, where the wounded and dying were taken for treatment. Surgeon William Beatty talks about Nelson's death.

Still from film showing recreation of the Surgeon's cockpit

The Experience concludes by leading visitors into:

W.L. Wyllie's Panorama a huge and very vivid painting of the battle with a special sound and light show.  (Click here for images of the Panorama and the story of its painting)

Other things to see in the Victory Gallery

Models and paintings of the Victory.

The Victory's Original Figurehead - a superb quarter-scale replica of the Victory's very elaborate original figurehead.

Personal belongings of men who served in her at Trafalgar.

The Quarterdeck - A special section of hands-on exhibits and computer interactives showing how the ship was sailed and fought.

Audio visual presentations on the ship, her history, and some of her key crew members.

In addition, the gallery also houses:

Spirit of a Ship - The Royal Naval Museum's superb collection of warship figureheads.

View of upper floor of the Victory gallery, with a ship's figurehead in the foreground

Nelson's Funeral - including the beautiful royal barge which was used to carry his body up the River Thames in January 1806.

View of Nelson's funeral barge in livery of King Charles II (1660)

Outdoor viewing platform, with panoramic views over Portsmouth harbour and ships of today's Royal Navy.

Families enjoying painting on the viewing platform with views over the harbour

For more information on HMS VICTORY or the Battle of Trafalgar, see our FAQs

New for 2007

'Chasing Freedom: The Royal Navy and the Suppression of the Transatlantic Slave Trade' is a special exhibition on the first floor of the Victory Gallery to commemorate the bicentenary of the abolition of the slave trade in 1807.  Click here for more details.


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