Royal Navy Submarine Museum

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View of the Royal Navy Submarine Museum

The Royal Navy Submarine Museum at Gosport is a maritime museum tracing the international history of submarine development from the age of Alexander the Great to the present day, and particularly the history of the Royal Navy Submarine Service from the navy's first submarine, Holland 1, to the nuclear-powered Vanguard-class submarines. The museum is located close to the former shore establishment HMS Dolphin, the home of the Royal Navy Submarine Service from 1904 until 1999.


The museum's collection originated as the Submarine Branch Collection in 1963, housed above St Ambrose Church in HMS Dolphin.[1] Few were aware of the existence of the museum, and those that were had limited access to the collection due to security considerations. The museum was officially recognised by the Ministry of Defence in 1967, along with the Fleet Air Arm Museum and the Royal Marines Museum. The museum's first full-time curator was appointed the following year.

The museum was officially registered as a charity in 1970, and has undergone significant development. In 1978 the museum was moved outside HMS Dolphin, allowing full public access. It was at this time that the Royal Navy’s training and static display submarine, HMS Alliance was donated to the museum. £410,000 was raised to pay for the submarine to be lifted out of the water and put in place at the museum.[2]

Midget submarine X24 on display

The new museum complex opened in August 1981 with HMS Alliance as the principal exhibit. Over the years since, more submarines and submarine memorabilia have been added to the collection. In 1983 the museum gained a new display building and members of the public were allowed into HMS Alliance.[1] In 2001 the museum opened a climate-controlled building that houses Holland 1.[1] Visitors to the museum can tour HMS Alliance with a submariner guide, explore the interactive science gallery, step on board the Royal Navy’s first submarine Holland I (built in 1901), or wander around the museum exhibits.

Submarines and other submersibles[edit]

Full-size model of the Turtle submarine
Part of one of the Museum's galleries

These submarines may be viewed on site

Historic and Modern Galleries[edit]

Entitled "From Pirate to Peacekeeper", these include:

Other nearby historic naval exhibits[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Whitman, Edward C (2003). "Royal Navy Submarine Museum Preserving a Notable Collection of Artifacts and War Stories". Undersea Warfare. U.S. Government Printing Office (19). Archived from the original on 4 June 2011. Retrieved 29 March 2011.
  2. ^ Tait, Simon (1989). Palaces of Discovery The Changing World of Britain's Museums. Quiller Press. pp. 130–132. ISBN 1870948009.
  3. ^ a b "Submarine Sandwich Course for Portsmouth Apprentices". maritime journal. Mercator Media Ltd. 1 December 2003. Archived from the original on 13 October 2008. Retrieved 26 January 2009.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 50°47′17″N 1°07′10″W / 50.788°N 1.1195°W / 50.788; -1.1195