Hampshires Maritime Museums

Hampshire includes Southampton and Portsmouth, both of which have some great naval museums. Naval museums that have a variety of naval artefacts included within their various exhibitions. Here you can visit the Portsmouth Dockyard museums, SeaCity Museum and the Royal Navy Submarine Museum.

• The SeaCity Museum

The SeaCity Museum in Southampton is the new Titanic museum which is a state-of-the-art museum. It is located close to the East Park and MayFlower theater. The museum includes three main exhibitions.

The Titanic exhibition is the largest of the exhibitions which covers… the Titanic! This exhibition documents the history of this great ocean liner which briefly sailed in 1912. It displays various Titanic artefacts and items such as the captain’s sword, teapots, paintings, plates, hats and pipes.

Two additional exhibitions at the SeaCity Museum are the Gateway to the World and the Titanic Legend. At the Gateway to the World there are hundreds of small model ships displayed alongside one larger one, and large round touch-screen map of Southampton. The Titanic Legend exhibition is a temporary one with six TVs running Titanic films, plus a variety of Titanic items such as plates, calendars and bags displayed along the wall.

• The Royal Navy Submarine Museum

This museum is in Gosport, which is right next to Portsmouth. Take a short boat trip across the water from Portsmouth to get there. This naval museum is one that includes a collection of submarines of various sizes.

Most notably there is the HMS Alliance which is the museum’s centrepiece. This is the big submarine at the museum that was first commissioned in 1947. At this museum you can take a 40- minute tour of the submarine which will take you from its torpedo compartments up to the navigation room.

Within the museum building there are also a few smaller submarines included. Submarines such as the Holland One which was an early 1901 submarine. The HMS X24 is a midget submarine and the only remaining British X-craft. German Bibers and LR3s are among the other submarines at this museum.

Aside from the submarines, there are a whole host of submarine artefacts. A painting collection, medals, submarine models, bells, periscopes, flags and torpedoes are included at this museum. Among them are an old Polaris missile as well as a Tomahawk missile.

• Portsmouth Dockyard Museums

These are located at the Portsmouth seafront. The Portsmouth Dockyard includes two 19th century warships. The HMS Warrior is one at the entrance, and the other is the HMS Victory. Here you can board the decks of both ships which have tours.

It also includes artifacts from the Mary Rose. A new Mary Rose museum is opening at the dockyards which displays many of these. Mary Rose videos are also included at this new museum.

The National Museum of the Royal Navy is located at the dockyards. This is the only museum that covers the ships of the Royal Navy. The museum’s collection houses ceramics, sculptures, textile pieces and photography.

These are three great naval museums to visit in Hampshire. They are all fascinating museums to visit which have great maritime collections.