- Locker Room
- Age of Fighting Sail
- Designer’s Workshop
- Grand Magazine - The Priddy’s Hard Story
- Modern Explosives
- Big Guns
- Submarine Alert
- Rolling Way
- Coffee Shop
- Education Centre
Here you will find out what it was like to work at Priddy’s Hard during the 20th Century. You can read information, hear personal oral histories and see objects from the past.
"Very interesting. Lots to take in. Loved the Lockers" Margarie and John.
In 1800, Priddy’s Hard came under increasing pressure to supply ships with gunpowder. A cooper was employed to make the barrels in which the gunpowder was stored and delivered.
The development of industrial technology and the growth of the British Empire in the late 19th century fuelled a rapid expansion in the design and production of small arms. The impact of small arms efficiency was to prove highly significant in the future of production at Priddy’s Hard.
"Brilliant - lively and informative - a good mix of technical and social history" Peter Spear.
This was the first building to be constructed at Priddy’s Hard. By the year 1780, up to 6,500 barrels of gunpowder were stored in the Magazine. Today you will see the audio visual presentation of the ‘Priddy’s Hard Story’ inside the Magazine.
"a staggering wealth of history is explained in a most enjoyable, entertaining and sensitive way" Mrs A. Wood.
Gunpowder was the main practical explosive available until the 1870s. Cordite was introduced in 1893 and began to replace gunpowder as a propellant. Gunpowder had always been stored in barrels but wooden boxes were used to store newer explosives.
"Seen most of the Museums in Portsmouth. This ranks at the top" Mr R Bolham.
A mine does not follow a trajectory through air or water. It is a static weapon waiting for its quarry to pass. Visit the Mines gallery and dodge Mines along the Sea Bed.
"Touchscreens brilliant. Lots of interesting facts. Very helpful staff" Mr and Mrs Shott.
When a ship came into harbour, it was the responsibility of the Ordnance Depot (Priddy’s Hard) to remove shells and cartridges, check and repair them. The guns came here too and each one had to be regularly inspected with great precision. Visit the Big Guns Gallery to learn that firing a gun at sea requires great skill, discipline and teamwork.
An anti-submarine weapon is any one of a range of devices that are intended to act against a submarine, and its crew, to destroy (sink) the vessel or to destroy or reduce its capability as a weapon of war. Come face to face with the squid (left), and see several depth charges on display in our Submarine Alert Gallery.
In 1872 the first self propelled torpedo was developed. It is only in the last sixty years since the Second World War that torpedoes have changed significantly and technological advances have increased effective firing ranges.
"I really loved the Museum. I would recommend it to all my friends. My favourite was the Torpedo's gallery". Mrs Elliot - Peers.
Warfare was changed forever following the explosion of the atom bomb on Hiroshima in 1945. The destruction caused by this relatively small weapon shocked the world in the realisation of the impact of nuclear power on humanity. From the 1960s, guided missiles replaced big Guns as the Royal Navy’s main weapons.
By the beginning of the 19th century a special pathway stretched from the Magazine to the harbour. Its purpose was to allow barrels of gunpowder to be carried on barrows to the ‘powder hoys’ (small sailing craft) on the harbour and transported to ships in the dockyard.
"a really first class collection of memories and information, something for everyone" D. R. Knowles.
The Camber was a link for more than a century between Priddy’s hard and the naval ships.