History of War

HMS Invincible exhibition at Chatham Dockyard

The Chatham Historic Dockyard is set to host a fascinatin­g maritime archaeolog­ical exhibition about the wreck of HMS Invincible, the British warship that lay undiscover­ed on the seabed for nearly three centuries

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Located beneath the waves of the Solent, HMS Invincible – the first vessel of the Royal Navy to receive the name – has remained largely undisturbe­d for almost 300 years. However, her centuries-old secrets have since surfaced at an exhibition currently held at the Chatham Historic Dockyard. The display, known as Diving Deep: HMS Invincible 1744 and on loan from the National Museum of the Royal Navy, charters the story of the ship, starting with its constructi­on by the French to its capture by the British, and through to its sinking off the coast of the Isle of Wight before being rediscover­ed by a fisherman in 1979.

Nick Ball – Collection­s, Galleries and Interpreta­tion Manager at Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust – says: “Visitors… will be able to learn why the Invincible was so special… She was a game-changer who even influenced the subsequent design of the world’s most famous warship – Admiral Nelson’s HMS Victory, built here at Chatham.”

Having been opened in Kent on 12 February, 2022, Diving Deep enables members of the public to explore the seabed virtually. It likewise offers the chance to examine fascinatin­g artefacts retrieved from the wreck itself. Many of these items, including sailors’ shoes and rope still smelling of the tar painted on it in 1758, were brought up from the ocean floor following recent emergency underwater excavation. Entry to the exhibition, which will run until 20 November, 2022, is part of the Dockyard’s general ticket.

 ?? ?? LEFT: HMS Invincible was en route to Nova Scotia, present-day Canada, in 1758 when she ran aground on a sandbank in the Solent
ABOVE: After a year at its initial site in Portsmouth Historic Dockyard (pictured), the exhibition has moved to Chatham, Kent
LEFT: HMS Invincible was en route to Nova Scotia, present-day Canada, in 1758 when she ran aground on a sandbank in the Solent ABOVE: After a year at its initial site in Portsmouth Historic Dockyard (pictured), the exhibition has moved to Chatham, Kent
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