Britannia Museum, Britannia Royal Naval College

Britannia Museum, Britannia Royal Naval College

As the site of officer training for the Royal Navy for over a century, Britannia Royal Naval College in many respects resembles a living museum, not unlike a stately home,in which modern day-to-day life exists in parallel with a rich history and tradition.¨¨TheCollege is an imposing Edwardian building that stands on Mount Boone overlooking the town of Dartmouth.

It was designed by Aston Webb, opened in 1905, and is responsible for the initial training of officers for the Royal Navy. Dartmouth has been associated with the training of potential officers since 1863 when the warship, HMS Britannia, arrived in Dartmouth to be the Officer Training College. The Britannia Museum is housed in one of the former Cadet Gunrooms and was opened in 1999 by His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh. The Museum explores the history of Officer Training at Dartmouth.

  • Bone Ship Models

    A fine collection of French prisoner of war bone ship models, two of these representing HMS Britannia. These were fashioned from bone from the prisoners' daily ration of mutton. The late L.J. Cadbury built up the core of this fine collection.

  • Life onboard HMS Britannia (1863-1905)

    Every cadet at the College kept all of his belongings in a sea chest. These would be taken away to sea with them and their uniform size and shape made them easy to stack and store.

  • College Archive

    The College Archive has a large collection of Midshipmen's journals and punishment records from HMS Britannia. There are a number of famous cadets whose punishment records make interesting reading, such as that of Prince Edward from 1877, which is displayed in the Museum.

  • Birley Gallery

    The Birley Gallery in the College probably holds the largest single collection of portraits by Sir Oswold Birley. The majority of this imposing collection came to Dartmouth from the Royal Naval College at Greenwich.

  • Royal Collection

    The College has a long association with the Royal Family and has many fine portraits, photographs and artefacts, that record their visits to the College. One such artefact is a fine silver statuette of Britannia sporting the Prince of Wales feathers on her helmet.

Admission & prices

Tours are run by a commercial company on behalf of the RN.
Escorted tours of the College and Museum Collection run on Wednesday afternoon, Saturday, Sunday from end of April until September.
Tours MUST be pre-booked by telephoning 01803 677013.
Photographic ID (passport, driving licence) is required for entrance.
Adult ticket: £11.85
Refreshments can be pre-booked.

Find us

Museum news

View all news articles


  • Toilets On-Site

Entrance to College & Museum is by pre-booked tour only.
There is limited disabled access.
Dartmouth town provides park and ride carpark.
Numerous cafes and resturants near by.

Please remember this is a working military establishment therefore strict security proceedures apply.
Due to the nature and purpose of the building disabled access is limited. Wheelchair access is particularly limited.

Britannia Royal Naval College
College Way

T: Tours: 01803 677013 Other Enquiries: 01803 677233

Back to search results

Britannia Museum, Britannia Royal Naval College

Britannia Royal Naval College
College Way

Dartmouth, DEVON TQ6 0HJ