HMS Victory receives £35m renovation funding
A £35m conservation project to renovate Vice-Admiral Lord Nelson’s flagship HMS Victory has been announced, on the 100th anniversary of the warship being brought into dry dock.
The ship was brought into dry dock 2 at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard on January 12, 1922. It has remained there since, and has become a beloved tourist attraction.
Best known for her role in the Battle of Trafalgar, the Victory currently has a dual role as the Flagship of the First Sea Lord and as a living museum to the Georgian Navy.
The world’s oldest commissioned warship, Victory has been undergoing a 20-year conservation scheme, including recently having its mast removed.
The new £35m project will see rotting planks removed from the hull and replaced with oak, while the vessel will be fully re-rigged. Repairs will also be done to the ship’s structural framework. The work is expected to take 10-15 years.
Portsmouth Historic Dockyard says: “The project will provide visitors with a once-in-a-generation opportunity to see beneath Victory‘s skin and experience a first-rate line-of-battle ship being taken through a great repair.”
First floated out at Chatham in 1765, Victory enjoyed a varied career. By the 1920s she was in poor condition and at risk of sinking at her mooring without intervention.
Later in 1922, on October 21st, Trafalgar Day, the “Save the Victory” campaign by the Society of Nautical Research was publicly launched. The society continues to play a significant role in securing the flagship for posterity.
Victory was officially opened as a museum ship to the public by King George V on 17 July 1928. To date, Victory has welcomed more than 30 million visitors, and even survived a 500lb bomb dropped by the German Luftwaffe during the Second World War.
In November, ambitious plans to revitalise Portsmouth Historic Dockyard into a ‘vibrant, living breathing community space’ were unveiled as part of a fightback strategy following the coronavirus pandemic. The pass will see the welcome return of free entry into the dockyard, allowing unprecedented access to the historic buildings preserved within the 12-acre site.