Explore the Nelson, Navy, Nation gallery

Essential information

Opening times: 
10.00–17.00 daily
Admission: 
Free
Location: 
National Maritime Museum, Second floor, Nelson Navy Nation gallery

Visit the free Nelson, Navy, Nation gallery at the National Maritime Museum to explore the life and times of great British hero Horatio Nelson and the history of the Royal Navy and British people from 1688–1815.

The gallery tells the story of the Royal Navy and the British people, from the Glorious Revolution of 1688 to the defeat of Napoleon in 1815. From bustling dockyards to ferocious sea battles, it brings to life the tumultuous 18th century, exploring how the Royal Navy shaped everyday lives as it became a central part of society and turned sea-faring heroes into national celebrities.

The gallery is home to Admiral Lord Nelson’s iconic Trafalgar uniform, which he was wearing when he was fatally wounded, as well as personal items and weird and wonderful Nelson memorabilia.

Also see over 250 other star objects from the Museum’s collections, from a sailor’s shoes, worn to impress on shore leave, to an amputation knife and bullet forceps.

Discover what made men join up, how they lived and what kept them in line, and how the Navy loomed large in all areas of the popular imagination, from caricatures to keepsakes and collectables.

Find out more

We hold several thousand items in our collections relating to Horatio Nelson and his life, relationships, battles and legacy.

View the Museum's Nelson collection online.

Buy the book

To accompany the gallery, we have published a hardback book, Nelson, Navy & Nation: The Royal Navy & the British people 1688–1815.

Buy the book online.