Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Flagship Portsmouth Museum

Flagship Portsmouth Museum - Home of three historic British warships: Henry VII's doomed flagship Mary Rose, Nelson's flagship HMS Victory, and the world's first iron battleship, HMS Warrior. Site also provides additional information about the Royal Naval Museum and Action Stations.

From the site:

King Richard I ordered the construction of a dockyard in Portsmouth, and granted the town its first charter, in 1194. Eighteen years later, his brother King John instructed that the dockyard be enclosed "by a good and strong wall".

Henry VII ordered the construction of the world's first dry dock in the dockyard in 1495. It was designed by Sir Reginald Bray, architect of the Henry VII Chapel at Westminster Abbey.

Henry VIII made the dockyard his fleet construction centre, and when Charles II created the Royal Navy in 1670, he gave Portsmouth the status of Royal Dockyard. With this came new slips, wharfs, storehouses and the first stone docks.The Great Ship Basin and six surrounding dry docks - one now occupied by HMS Victory and another by Mary Rose - are one of the surviving legacies of the great age of sail.

Sail's golden age, between 1750 to 1850, saw the yard at peak production because of almost continuous war. To this period the dockyard owes its glorious brick storehouses, residences, and ropehouse, the latter rebuilt after a famous arson attack by Jack the Painter, a sympathiser with the cause of the American rebels.

No comments: