The Ordnance Society

Ordnance & Artillery of All Periods


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2019 Conference – Wooden Walls and Stone Bastions

Ship and ordnance remains on land and under the sea

The Nautical Archaeology Society and the Ordnance Society are excited to be co-hosting a two-day conference examining how ship and ordnance remains found on land and under the sea help our understanding of our maritime past.

To be held in Portsmouth on 16th-17th November 2019 in partnership with Nautical Archaeology Society


Our Sponsors

Generously sponsored by DiveMaster Insurance , MSDS Marine, The Sub-Aqua Association, Historic England , Go Dive Scuba Store, BSAC , Maritime Archaeology Sea Trust, Wessex Archaeology, and Valkyrie Diving and Marine Services

Sponsorship packages available – Download the sponsorship package details here.

Please contact the NAS Office to discuss how you could support the event.



2019 Conference – Wooden Walls and Stone Bastions – Tickets available


University of Portsmouth, Portland Building, 16th-17th November 2019

Tickets are on sale via Eventbrite NOW!

Don’t delay – Early Bird Booking Discount Ends 1st October 2019


Conference Programme

The provisional programme of presentations can be downloaded here.

Speakers and papers include:

  • Early artillery and nautical archaeology, Kay Smith
  • Serpentine gunpowder and the guns that used it, Geoff Smith
  • British guns for land and sea, 1660-1670, Ruth Rhynas Brown
  • Where did all the U-Boats go?, Serena Cant
  • HMS Invincible: enhancing our understanding of the Georgian navy’s organisation maintenance and operation of the naval gunnery system, Daniel Pascoe
  • Above and below the water: What our ships and forts are telling us about climate change in Ireland, Sandra Henry
  • Defending Speightstown: Archaeology of Barbados’ coastal fortifications. Connor Thompson-Webb

Tickets are on sale via Eventbrite NOW!


Much more than just a conference…..

The 2019 event also includes:

  • Tour of Fort Cumberland, 2pm-4pm on the Friday 15th
  • Beer and Skittles at the Royal Maritime Club on the Friday 15th
  • Social media photography workshop on Saturday 16th
  • The NAS AGM on the Saturday 16th
  • Three course dinner at Old Customs House in Gunwhalf Quays on the Saturday 16th.
  • Tour of Royal Armouries, Fort Nelson on Monday 18th from 11am
  • Tour of Explosion Museum, Gosport on Monday 18th from 2pm

The Conference Dinner Menu can be found here – menu choices will be required 14 days before the event.

There will also be poster displays, lots of exhibitors in the atrium all weekend and the famous conference raffle to finish of the formalities on the Sunday.

There is an exciting programme of behind-the-scenes museum tours and hands-on activities scheduled for Friday 15th (Tour of Fort Cumberland) and Monday 18th November (Tour of Royal Armouries (Fort Nelson) and the Explosion Museum (Gosport).

On Monday 18th (from 11am) Nick Hall, Curator Emeritus of Artillery has offered to give us a private tour of the Royal Armouries at Fort Nelson. Places are limited.

Also on Monday 18th (from 2pm), Gavin Mackay will lead us on an hour long tour of the Explosion Museum focusing on key artefacts and curator Nick Hewitt will take us behind-the-scenes to areas not available to the public to see intriguing collection items in storage. Places are limited.

The conference will also host the 2019 Adopt a Wreck Award, the Honor Frost Foundation IJNA Open Access Prize , NAS Training Education Awards, as well as the second MSDS Marine Awards.


Staying in Portsmouth 


Royal Maritime Club  *

75-80 Queens Road, Portsmouth, PO1 3HS

Tel: +44 (0) 23 9282 4231

Advance booking: (+44)023 9283 7681 or (+44)023 9229 3496

*Special Rate for Conference Delegates when booking direct – quote ‘Ordnance Society UOP – Members rates’

Members rate (Nov rates to be confirmed)

£96 double or twin bed and breakfast

£106 superior double or twin bed and breakfast

£52 single room bed and breakfast


IBIS Portsmouth Centre *

Winston Churchill Avenue, Portsmouth, PO1 1LX

Tel: +44 (0) 2392640000

*Special Rate for Conference Delegates when booking online direct

15th November £60

16th November £85

17th November £45

Rates are based on single occupancy rooms and include full English Breakfast.


Queens Hotel *

Clarence Parade, Osbourne Road, Southsea, Portsmouth, PO5 3LJ

Tel: +44 (0)2392 822466

*Special Rate for Conference Delegates when booked direct 8 weeks prior to conference – quote ref 04546

Bed and Breakfast per room per night

Single £69.00

Double/Twin £89.00

Sea View Double/Twin £99.00


Holiday Inn Express Portsmouth – Gunwharf Quays

The Plaza Gunwharf Quays, Portsmouth PO1 3FD

Tel: +44 (0) 871 423 4876


Keppels Head Hotel

24-26 The Hard, Portsmouth, PO1 3DT

Tel: +44 (0) 2392 833231


Duke of Buckingham

119 The High Street, Old Portsmouth, PO1 2HW

+44 (0) 2392 827067


Holiday Inn Portsmouth (City Centre)

Pembroke Road, Portsmouth, Hampshire, PO1 2TA

Tel: +44 (0) 871 9429065


Travelling to Portsmouth

Train – The closest station to the Portland Building is Portsmouth and Southsea. There are regular direct trains from London Waterloo and London Victoria (2 hour journey), and also regular services from Southampton, Bournemouth, Chichester and Brighton.

National Rail Enquiries –

Southern –

South Western  –

Great Western –


Car – Use Sat Nav PO1 3AF. Take the M275 into Portsmouth (signed ‘Portsmouth West’) whether approaching from the east (A3(M)/A27) or the west (M27 Junction 12).  Continue on to Anglesea Road (A3)and take the right at the traffic lights onto Park Road, signposted for Gunwhalf Quays Parking. Take the next right on to Burnaby Road – the Milldam Building car park is on the immediate left hand side (also for the Portsmouth Register Office) . It is 5 minutes walk to the Portland Building (follow the conference signs). Pay and Display currently costs £2.00 per day

Limited disabled parking can be accessed off St James Street, PO1 3AH


Park and ride – There is a park and ride service at the entrance to the city on the M275. Buses run into Portsmouth every 12 minutes.

Coach – Regular daily direct coach services run to Portsmouth from London, Bristol, Birmingham, Heathrow and other locations around the country. All these services call at The Hard Interchange by Portsmouth Harbour railway station, which is a 15-minute walk from the Portland Building. You can find out coach times and routes with National Express


Air – Portsmouth is approximately 1 hour 30 minutes by car from both Heathrow and Gatwick Airports and is approximately 30 minutes by car from Southampton International Airport.


Sea – There are regular services between Portsmouth and Caen, Le Havre and St Malo in France, and Bilbao and Santander in Spain. There are crossings each day to the Isle of Wight and a passenger ferry runs across the harbour to Gosport.