Explosion! Museum of Naval Firepower

Explosion! is The Museum of Naval Firepower situated in the former Royal Naval Armaments Depot at Priddy's Hard, in Gosport, Hampshire, England.

The museum has won multiple awards and tells the story of naval firepower from Gunpowder to the Exocet Missile. The museum is situated in some of the only remaining buildings from when the site was used as an armaments depot. The original powder magazine of 1777 is now a 16 minute audio visual show which tells the story of the site right up until the closure of the depot in 1989.

The museum sits on the edge of a delightful camber basin on the western shore of Portsmouth Harbour, with views across to Portchester Castle, Whale Island and the Naval Base.

The displays explore the 18th century origins of Priddy's Hard, its historic buildings and earthworks, bringing alive the site's rich history.

There's a fascinating social history too, including the story of how 2,500 women worked on the site during its peak in World War II. It describes the role that Priddy's Hard played in naval operations worldwide for over 200 years, as well as its importance to the local Gosport community, which not only armed the Navy but also fed and watered it."

The museum's extensive and unique collection was mostly assembled by superintendents of the former Naval Armaments Depot at Priddy's Hard. If it hadn't been for their foresight, a large slice of naval history would have been lost. Thanks to their efforts the museum boasts an extensive collection which includes small arms, cannon and guns, shells and munitions, mines, torpedoes and modern missiles. There's even an atom bomb, whose ominous hulk meets visitors on arrival.

But alongside the hardware, Explosion! tells a human story - of the designers, makers, seamen and thousands of female munitions workers who worked with these armaments over the centuries. From the beginning of exhibition, where a simulated locker room reveals Priddy's Hard through the eyes of those who worked there, visitors experience a real sense of the lives which this amazing story has touched.

Explosion! was created for £3.5 million pounds which was funded by the Millennium Commission as part of the Renaissance of Portsmouth Harbour Millennium Scheme."

Priddy's Hard

Explosion! is part of 22 acre Heritage Area acquired by Gosport Borough Council from the MoD in the mid 1990's. The Heritage Area is made up of parkland and historic buildings.

Priddy's Hard is linked to the main A32 by a new access road, and a new pedestrian bridge, funded by Millennium Commission grant, which connects the site to the rest of the Gosport waterfront and the town centre, carrying the Millennium Promenade which runs for 3km to the Royal Navy Submarine Museum.

External links

Explosion!, The Museum of Naval Firepower Gosport Borough Council

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