St Anns Church, HM Naval Base Portsmouth has been a centre for Naval ship building and repair since 1194, when King Richard I ordered the building of the first dock here. From that date facilities grew and evolved with the growing importance of the Royal Navy and with the changing technology of warships; the process of change continues as readily as ever, but the tradition of providing seagoing warships with the best possible support is maintained.
1212 King John ordered the building of the wall around the Dockyard
1495 World’s first dry dock built
1509 Mary Rose keel laid down
1711 Dockyard wall and Victory Gate completed
1733 Old Naval Academy completed
1824 Semaphore Tower built (now used as the Head Office for the Naval Base Commander)
1850 Dockyard was world’s largest industrial site (99 acres)
1860 Lord Palmerson ordered construction of ring of defensive forts around Portsmouth
1906 HMD Dreadnought built in a year and a day
1913 Super-Dreadnought HMS Queen Elizabeth built, first oil-fired battleship
1922 HMS Victory docked in No 2 Dock
1996 Portsmouth Command disestablished, 1 star post of Naval Base Commander set up
2000 Integration of Naval Base with HMS Nelson
2001 Naval Base Commander becomes responsible for non-fleet time maintenance to form a true "one stop shop" for Portsmouth base ships.
Memories of HM Naval Base Portsmouth
(Memories written by members of Forces Reunited)
HM Naval Base Portsmouth, Edinbrugh Tattoo in 1962
Written by Hamish Gilmour
We were all billeted in Dreghorn Barricks in Edinbrugh. No Sunday performance then, that’s when I fell down a ravine & broke my ankle, then spent the rest of the time watching you all do the hornpipe.