Volunteering is a great way to meet new people and make a real difference in your community. Here at the Historic Dockyard we offer opportunities for our volunteers to develop new skills or build on existing experience and knowledge in a friendly and welcoming environment.

Historic Boat Volunteers

Portsmouth Naval Base Property Trust have an amazing team of volunteers who help maintain our collection of historic boats based in Boathouse 4.

In addition to restoring and maintaining the Trust's fleet of historic boats, our volunteers interact with visitors, act as tour guides and crew our operational boats.

Some of the vessels being restored and maintained by our volunteers include: Cyclops - a 42ft rowing boat built in 1916 as launch to the World War 1 battleship Royal Sovereign, LIBOR funded projects - a replica build of a CMB4-Motor Torpedo Boat, Armed Steam Cutter 26 from HMS Falmouth build in 1910 and a Landing Craft - LCPV F8.

If you would like to join our friendly volunteer team, or just find out more, please contact Lynne Robbins - Volunteer Coordinator on vc@pnbpt.com or Tel: 023 9289 3328. No previous experience is necessary.


Friends of the Porters Garden

The Friends of the Porter’s Garden were established in 2001 to care for a new garden laid out on the site of the former garden belonging to the Porter’s Lodge (1708), the oldest building in the Dockyard.  Their planting schemes use the kind of plants and flowers which would have been found in an 18th century garden.

As well as tending the garden all year round, the Friends raise funds by holding a summer garden party, by taking stalls at the annual Dockyard Festival of Christmas and by selling plants along with jams and chutneys made from organic produce grown in their own gardens or in the Porter’s Garden.  Each year they also arrange a series of visits to other historic gardens.

In 2009 the garden was extended to include the area beside Boathouse 6.  The new Raised Garden is of minimalist style comprising four walnut trees, a raised bed within the retaining wall alongside the slipway, elegant swathes of Bredon gravel and new granite steps.  Designed by the Trust's then architectural Trustee, Sir Colin Stansfield Smith CBE, the Raised Garden was formally opened by Mike Hall, Chairman of Hampshire Gardens Trust.

In 2018 the William III bed was completely redesigned as a dry garden inset with three Repton style flower baskets made by local designer blacksmith Peter Clutterbuck.  This was particularly apt as 2018 was celebrated as the 200th anniversary of Repton's death.  Humphry Repton was the last great English landscape designer of the eighteenth century, often regarded as the successor to Capability Brown; he also sowed the seeds of the more intricate and eclectic styles of the 19th century.

If you would like to find out more about the Friends please visit the Porter's Garden website, twitter (/portersgarden), or call Cristine Kervin Tel: 023 9235 5317

Portsmouth Royal Dockyard Historical Trust 

The Portsmouth Royal Dockyard Historical Trust (previously known as the Portsmouth Royal Dockyard Historical Society) was formed to preserve the industrial heritage of Portsmouth Royal Dockyard for the benefit of future generations. 

The Trust's Volunteer Support Group members are passionate about the recording, preserving, interpretation, and exhibition of important industrial artefacts and documents which all help to tell the story of how the dockyard supported the Royal Navy. The volunteers have an interest or expertise in the history of, and skills practised in, the former Royal Dockyard at Portsmouth. 

The group meets on Thursdays between 10am and 3pm in No 10 Storehouse (National Museum of the Royal Navy). Their office and archive is on the 1st floor of the southern end of the building. Entry into the Historic Dockyard for the purpose of attending a meeting in Storehouse 10 does not require an entry ticket. Please get in touch if you would like to join this friendly and welcoming group.  If someone in your family served in the dockyard and you have documents, photographs or artefacts of interest please get in contact.

For further information about being a Support Group Volunteer or sharing historical items please contact The Volunteer Support Group by email at prdhtsg@outlook.com.

For further information about the history of the Dockyard please visit the Historical Trust's website.


Historic Buildings

Discover more about the history of the buildings managed by the Trust



Historic Boats

Learn more about the boats acquired and restored by the Trust



Get Involved

Find out how you can contribute to preserving our nation's naval history


Supported by:

Supported by Regional Growth Fund