Coming home

HMS Invincible was made a Protected Wreck site in 1980. This meant that the Archaeologists from the Maritime Archaeology Sea Trust (MAST) could not excavate her without ensuring that there was a home for the things that were raised from her as part of the excavation and archaeological research.

The National Museum of the Royal Navy agreed to become that home. Essentially, parts of HMS Invincible, once conserved, will be coming back to her home port over 260 years after she left.

From the sea bed to the land

The incredible hidden world of maritime archaeology and historic wrecks is really only seen by a few divers, not by most people. MAST and the National Museum of the Royal Navy hoped to reveal that hidden world, bringing the seabed to the land. They applied to National Lottery Heritage Fund and were awarded £360,000 in 2018 and the Diving Deep: HMS Invincible 1744 project was born.

Diving Deep: HMS Invincible 1744 – a travelling exhibition

This is an engaging project and travelling exhibition that reaches out to a wide range of audiences. An active volunteer programme has;

  • helped to prepare archaeological objects to be incorporated into museum collections and the exhibition
  • researched the incredible stories behind Invincible, from her capture to her sinking
  • helped to prepare an exhibition which will open in Portsmouth at the National Museum of the Royal Navy and then later travel to Chatham Historic Dockyard
  • helped to reach out to engage audiences with the scientific archaeological excavation of Invincible at public events and in schools

The volunteers have been working so hard to make Diving Deep a success that they completed over 750 days of volunteering within the first two years of a three year project.