HMS Excellent (shore establishment)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
HMS King Alfred and Naval Command HQ.JPG
HMS King Alfred on the right of the picture, with Naval Command HQ on the left
Royal Navy EnsignUnited Kingdom
Name: HMS Excellent
Commissioned: 1869
Status: Active
General characteristics
Class and type: Stone frigate
For other ships with the same name, see HMS Excellent.

HMS Excellent is a Royal Navy "stone frigate" (shore establishment) sited on Whale Island near Portsmouth in Hampshire. HMS Excellent is itself part of the Maritime Warfare School, with a Headquarters at HMS Collingwood, although a number of lodger units are resident within the site, the principal of which is the Headquarters of Commander in Chief Fleet (Navy Command Headquarters).


Whale Island in 1833
Whale Island in 1945

In the early 19th century the decision was made to establish a school of gunnery.[1] Accordingly the third-rate HMS Excellent was converted into a training ship and moved to Whale Island in 1830.[2] She was replaced by the second rate HMS Boyne which was renamed Excellent in 1834 and by the first-rate Queen Charlotte, which was renamed Excellent in December 1859 as each in turn took over the role of gunnery training ship permanently moored at Whale Island.[3] Trainees would fire the ship's guns down a range on Whale Island.[4]

The whole operation moved ashore in 1891 and ultimately closed as a gunnery school in 1985.[4] The establishment was recommissioned in 1994 following the closure of the old HMS Phoenix, school of Fire Fighting and Damage Control, in nearby Tipner and Horsea Island.[4] The Portsmouth Field Gun Crew, competing in the Royal Navy field gun competition at the Royal Tournament, also used to be based at the site.[4]

Elements within the site[edit]

Maritime Warfare School elements within the site are:[5]

HMS Bristol alongside Whale Island
HMS Bristol alongside Whale Island.

HMS Excellent also provides administrative and infrastructure support to the Maritime Warfare School elements at Defence Diving School, Horsea Island, and small arms ranges at Tipner.

Lodger units[edit]

Lodger units are:

Coordinates: 50°49′09″N 1°05′48.5″W / 50.81917°N 1.096806°W / 50.81917; -1.096806


  1. ^ Lloyd, p. 194-195
  2. ^ Lavery, Ships of the Line vol.1, p. 180
  3. ^ Lavery, Ships of the Line vol.1, p. 187
  4. ^ a b c d "History". Royal Navy. Retrieved 25 August 2014. 
  5. ^ "Royal Navy shore establishments - major bases". Armed Forces. Retrieved 25 August 2014. 


  • Lavery, Brian (2003). The Ship of the Line - Volume 1: The development of the battlefleet 1650-1850. Conway Maritime Press. ISBN 0-85177-252-8. 
  • Lloyd, Christopher (1955). The Origins of H.M.S. Excellent. The Mariner's Mirror 41 (3). 

External links[edit]