Colin Crosby Heritage Tours

Royal Dockyard (Portsmouth)

The Royal Dockyard at Portsmouth has been at the heart of this great maritime city's naval heritage for centuries. It covers 300 acres.

It is actually situated at Portsea, now a district of Portsmouth, but originally a separate walled town.

The Dockyard was established by Henry VII beside the sheltered Portsmouth Harbour in 1496, when he also constructed the world's first dry dock here.

Portsmouth, and particularly the Dockyard, was heavily bombed during the Second World War, and was a principal embarkation point for D-Day.

The navy closed it down as a working dockyard in 1981, but it remains a major tourist attraction.

Inside the dockyard, and much visited, are the Royal Navy Museum; Admiral Nelson's flagship H.M.S. Victory; the Mary Rose, raised from the seabed in 1982; and the Mary Rose Museum.

Outside the gates are the Tourist Information Centre and H.M.S. Warrior, the world's first iron clad warship, which was built in 1860.

Nearby is The Hard Interchange, Britain's most impressive public transport interchange complex. It consists of Portsmouth Harbour railway station; The Hard bus station; the pier, for ferries to the Isle of Wight; and pontoons, for ferries to Gosport.

The Dockyard is the focal point for the annual Portsmouth Festival of Christmas.

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