Britannia Royal Naval Museum
April to End October
Tel. 01803 677 787
Britannia Royal Naval College (BRNC) sits high on the hill overlooking Dartmouth and the bustling River Dart in Devon. It is set in 126 acres of beautifully landscaped ground which once belonged to the descendants of Sir Walter Raleigh. One of the finest examples of Edwardian architecture, designed by Sir Aston Webb, the building has been home to Royal Naval Officer training since 1905. It contains many interesting features and has the privilege to be custodian of some remarkable paintings and artefacts. There are fascinating links with both the Admiralty and Royalty - The Princess Elizabeth met Prince Philip for the first time in the grounds of the Commodore’s residence in 1939. The Quarterdeck with its high vaulted ceiling is surrounded by the beautiful wrought iron work of the Poop Deck. This leads to the Birley Gallery which houses a unique collection of Second World War naval portraits. The Main Corridor, one of the longest uninterrupted in Europe at approximately one eighth of a mile long, takes you from the Chapel with its associated memorial chapels at one end to the splendid Senior Gunroom (SGR) at the other. The hand painted and gold leafed bosses of the SGR ceiling compliment the oak panelling and portraits of some of the best known Admirals.
The small yet fine museum has collected many artefacts and pictures showing the history of BRNC from its beginnings in 1863 as the two vessels HMS Britannia and HMS Hindostan were moored on the River Dart through to the opening of today’s College during Edward VII’s reign. It gives an insight into the evolving way and life and training of Royal Naval Officers. BRNC delivers courageous leaders with the spirit to fight and win. From the Main Lobby the imposing doors open onto a stunning view down the river to the sea beyond. Stand on the Bridge and imagine being the Guest of Honour at a Passing Out Parade. The detailed, fully escorted tour lasts approximately 2 hours. It is a large Grade II* listed building with steps, stairs and highly polished floors (sensible footwear must be worn). The tour requires around one mile of easy walking with places to stop en route. Unfortunately there is no wheelchair access or disabled facilities at this time. The option to take refreshments is available on private tours only. Public Tours are arranged from the town from Easter to the End of October on Wednesday and Sunday afternoons. These tours must be booked through the Dartmouth Information Centre on 01803 834224
Britannia Royal Naval College, Dartmouth, Devon. TQ6 0HJ. Tel. 01803 677787