HMS Victory

Lord Nelson's flagship

HMS Victory can be found in the Historic Dockyard in Portsmouth. A single attraction ticket can be bought and just the Victory can be visited or an All Attraction ticket can be purchased and you can include a visit to the Victory along with seeing the rest of the Dockyard. To me it was better value to pay for the All Attraction ticket and I visited the Victory, the MaryRose, the Battle of Jutland exhibition and went on a harbour cruise.

The Victory is currently undergoing a 10 year restoration process and her upper masts and rigging have been removed. She doesn't look quite as spectacular as if the masts were full height.

The Victory was launched in 1765, and her major claim to fame was that she was Lord Nelson's flagship in the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. She continued as a warship until 1824 and then brought to Portsmouth as a harbour ship. In 1922 she was in such bad disrepair that she was taken out of the water and placed in a dry dock and that's become her permanent home. Restoration work was carried out and she became a museum ship. The Victory is the oldest naval ship still in commission and her dry dock home is the oldest dry dock in the world.

The restoration work that's underway at the moment to to replace the steel cradle that's holding her in the dry dock. The weight of the ship is pulling her apart, so a new support system has been devised that will mimic how she would sit in water.

The Victory is 104 gun ship, she's incredibly heavy as all these cannons are cast iron! Then there's all the cannon balls as well!

When not in battle the area was the sailor's dining room! 

Space was at a premium so beds were slung above the cannons.

The crew's sleeping area with their ship's trunks for personal belongings.

Those who were higher up the naval command got better accomodation! A somewhat more comfortable bed for Captain Hardy.

I'm assuming this rather ornate bed was Lord Nelson's.

The Great Cabin, the Victory was the flagship of the fleet and so had her captain as well as the Admiral of the Fleet sailing on her. She had a spacious area for them to work.

The Dining Cabin where naval officers could be entertained in style. Also the place where over 2 nights in October 1805, Nelson gathered together the captains of his fleet and went over his plans for the Battle of Trafalgar. Maps have been laid out on the table.

Up on deck, looking out to the Dockyard and the Spinnaker Tower in the distance.

I liked the imagery here, onboard the oldest naval ship with the newest one, the aircraft carrier Queen Elizabeth in the background.

Munitions on board. I like the wooden bucket next to them, to throw water on an explosion I presume!

The displays on board were all really well done, including the everyday life ones. The sailors all had to be fed and chickens were kept on board, so there were fresh eggs.

Right down in the lowest level of the ships were the barrels containing gunpowder, to fire the cannons.

The Victory as a museum ship was excellent, there are multiple levels to explore, each level displaying a different part of life on board. There was a hospital section, the galley with an enormous cast iron stove, as well as the officers' areas.

I had a quick look through as I was running out of time, I had a prebooked ferry to catch to the Isle of Wight. Regardless I thought it was terrific and it did an excellent job immersing the visitor in the time period where the Victory was a warship.