Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, Portsmouth

Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, Portsmouth (must see)

Portsmouth has been one of the four major Royal Navy Dockyards or Bases throughout the history of England. Richard I of England built the first dock in Portsmouth in 1194 and then scampered off to the Holy Land. His testy brother John added walls in 1212. In 1242 King Edward II required all southern ports to build the largest possible ships.

Portsmouth is said to have built the first dry dock in the world, ordered by Henry VII in 1495. The first warship built in Portsmouth was the Sweepstake, a carrack launched in 1497. Ships from Portsmouth helped drive off the Spanish Armada of 1588.

The Portsmouth Historic Dockyard is that part of HM Naval Base Portsmouth, which is open to the public. The National Museum of the Royal Navy opened in 1911. Historic vessels and more modern ships are on exhibit in the Dockyard.

The HMS Victory, Lord Nelson's flagship at the battle of Trafalgar, is the star of the show. Victory has been open to the public in her dry dock, still seaworthy after 200 years. HMS Warrior was the first iron-plated, iron-hulled warship. Launched in 1860, she was open to visitors in 1987. HMS M33, First WW I monitor, opened in 2015.

The Mary Rose, a short-lived jewel of Henry VIII's Tudor fleet, is not seaworthy. She sank in 1545 while Henry watched. He is said to have wept. Salvaged in 1982, the ship rests on display in a specially built museum structure that houses thousands of artifacts found in the wreck.

The Portsmouth Naval Base Property Trust is responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of all historic buildings and exhibits of the Historic Dockyard. The Trust established the Memorial Flotilla, a collection of antique boats. A new museum, micro-brewery, pub and restaurant, and holiday residences have been recently built or are "on the way" to be launched.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Portsmouth. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from Apple App Store or Google Play Store. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Portsmouth Historic Dockyard on Map

Sight Name: Portsmouth Historic Dockyard
Sight Location: Portsmouth, England (See walking tours in Portsmouth)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Portsmouth, England

Create Your Own Walk in Portsmouth

Create Your Own Walk in Portsmouth

Creating your own self-guided walk in Portsmouth is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Portsmouth Introduction Walking Tour

Portsmouth Introduction Walking Tour

The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle claims a warrior named Port and his two sons killed a noble Briton in Portsmouth in 501 AD. Winston Churchill, in his "A History of the English-Speaking Peoples," wrote that Port was a pirate who founded Portsmouth in the same year.

King AEthelwulf sent a force to drive off Viking raiders in Portsmouth in the 9th century. The Danes loved Portsmouth, but they...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.2 Km or 2.6 Miles
Historical Dockyard Tour

Historical Dockyard Tour

The naval theme has always been dominant for Portsmouth. Most of the city's historic events are in one way or another associated with its seaside location. Portsmouth's Historical Dockyard is the area that offers a glimpse into the city's maritime past.

The very first notable landmark here is Victory Gate, the dockyard's main entrance. Inside, visitors will find HMS...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 0.4 Km or 0.2 Miles
Famous English Writers Walking Tour

Famous English Writers Walking Tour

Jane Austen was born in 1775 in Steventon, North Hampshire. In her day, Portsmouth was a rough-edged seaport filled with people she considered "underbred." Nevertheless, she often traveled to Portsmouth to visit her brothers Francis and Charles, stationed there with the Royal Navy. Austen included Royal Naval characters in her novels, Persuasion and Mansfield Park.

Charles Dickens was...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.7 Km or 2.3 Miles