Royal Navy Submarine Museum

View of the Royal Navy Submarine Museum

The Royal Navy Submarine Museum at Gosport is a 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 Submarine Service from the tiny Holland 1 to the nuclear-powered Vanguard class submarine. It is sited here due to HMS Dolphin shore-establishment.


HMS Alliance

The museum's collection began life as the Submarine Branch Collection and opened in 1963, housed above St Ambrose Church in HMS Dolphin.[1] It was difficult for the public to gain access due to security considerations and the fact that people were not aware the museum even existed. 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 first full-time curator was appointed for the museum the following year. The museum was officially registered as a charity in 1970, and has seen many changes since then. In 1978 the museum was moved outside HMS Dolphin’s confines, allowing full public access. It was at this time that the Royal Navy’s Training and Static Display submarine, HMS/m 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]

The complex that we now recognise as the Royal Navy Submarine Museum opened in August 1981 with HMS/m 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 today can take a tour of HMS/m Alliance with a submariner guide, explore the interactive science gallery, step on board the Royal Navy’s first submarine Holland I (built in 1901), wander around the museum exhibits or just stop for coffee and cake at the Harbour Stations Coffee Shop.

Submarines and other submersibles

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

Entitled From Pirate to Peacekeeper, these include:

Other nearby historic naval exhibits

See also


  1. 1 2 3 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). 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. 1 2 "Submarine Sandwich Course for Portsmouth Apprentices". maritime journal. Mercator Media Ltd. 1 Dec 2003. Archived from the original on October 13, 2008. Retrieved 26 January 2009.
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Coordinates: 50°47′17″N 1°07′10″W / 50.788°N 1.1195°W / 50.788; -1.1195

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