Tall Ships of Portsmouth

Well.. this is something quite different from the norm, we were given half a day to explore three of the most oldest and spookiest tall ships of Portsmouth Harbour.

Namely – HMS Victory, The Mary Rose and HMS Warrior.

All three hold stories of phantom sailors, moving objects and strange unaccountable noises.

For many years I’ve always wanted to visit these fascinating ships, now here I am on a mission of investigating the entire ships for myself.

First off, HMS Victory..

What a lovely ship, its certainly not hard to miss painted a striking yellow and black. With all its fancy rigging, this ship is some size! The Victory, commissioned by the board of Admiralty in 1778 (King George the 3rd) – This fine ship was to remain in active service until 1812, making it the oldest commissioned warship in the world – quite a feat for a ship of its build.

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Unfortunately due the ravages of time, most of the original woodwork has at one stage or another been replaced. Infact only the masts are made of the original timber. Yet that hasn’t stopped reports of ghostly goings on below deck.

If you know your history than I’m sure I don’t have to remind you that Admiral Lord Nelson died on the Orlop Deck during the Great Battle of Trafalgar against the French in 1805. On the deck, a single brass plaque marks the spot he fell – shot by a musketeer from the French ship Redoubtable. His body was stripped and placed in a leaguer (a large wooden barrel) – which was filled with brandy to preserve his body on the trip back home to Portsmouth

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One of the first cabins I examined was Nelson’s, a fine room! Divided into 4 compartments, this area was larger than most captains cabins of modern ships. It has to be noted that the flooring is slightly angled – this could explain visitors feeling dizzy and off balance.

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Next it was the middle and lower decks, 850 crew worked on the ship in total. It’s quite impossible to imagine that number on the decks at any one time. Wondering from deck to deck you feel drawn back in time. One of the things I like to try and do on locations is to focus my mind in the time period – but this time I just couldn’t concentrate.

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The ship holds many secrets and strange corridors below deck in the hold. It was here I felt that if active spirit did exist, this is where it would spend its time. Unfortunately for me time was running out.. and I still had 2 ships to investigate.

The Mary Rose..

Not much left of it, but what there is of it is quite fascinating! Raised from the sea bed in 1982, The pride ‘Warship’ – Commissioned by Henry 8th sank in 1545 off Portsmouth, with a sad loss of over 400 lives. Permanently sprayed with sea water to stop it deteriorating, this ship has been said to house the spirits of the ill fated sailors. Figures with sad faces have been photographed on many occasions.

Psychic visitors have reported feeling depressed – all in all, not really a place I would want to spend a great deal of time.

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As you can see for yourselves, my pictures contained nothing unusual.

HMS Warrior..

Warrior, the youngest of the three ships I’ve explored today – was commissioned in 1860 by Queen Victoria. She was the first Ironclad steam driven ‘warship’ of her day.

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The Hold and Engine Rooms

I thought this time would start bottom to top, so down I went to the belly of the ship. I felt very uneasy down here, but I think its more to do with the feeling of being enclosed. Below deck, the furnaces split the ship down the middle. It’s dark, cramped and generally not nice. I really did not enjoy being on my own, because the hull is metal – you can hear strange noises coming right across the body of the ship.

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I think this is more down to the mooring ropes and the 4 anchors hitting the sides. This ship sits on tide, moored to a jetty – so you are bound to get some noises from the sea. Thanks to all the metal, its certainly no good doing an EMF sweep on here!. Later in the year I will be returning for a more though investigation – but for now… I don’t want to be down here!

DSCF2088The upper decks weren’t that much better, small cabins flanked the sides of the ship – with some very small windows! Just about the whole ship remained in darkness, I really would not like to be on here in the dark – and yet that’s exactly what I plan to do in a few months time.

I’ve got a strong feeling that this ship out of all 3, has many secrets to share. I cant wait to do a proper invo here!

While walking around the upper deck, I noticed quite a strange looking room, infact it drew my attention over to it. Strangely enough, the Warrior was the first ship to have fitted washing machines! – but I guess with over 700 men onboard a coal ship, dirt became a bit of a problem.

With my time nearly up, my camera full, my feet aching – I had to call it a day. It really was the experience I hoped it would be. If ever you get the chance to visit any one of these ships, don’t pass up on it!

I will be back.. for sure!

2 Responses to Tall Ships of Portsmouth

  • I’ve spent a lot of time on this ship. My friend was in the navy at the time and was the officer in charge. One night during a tour of the ship he was explaining that an officer during the battle of Trafalgar ( john scott ) was the first fatal casualty being cut in halfby a cannon ball. As he said this I panned my video camera towards mr scotts office window. Replaying the tape the next day you can clearly see a transparent face in the window ! I still have the dvd to prove it. Spooky eh ?

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