The Ordnance Society

Ordnance & Artillery of All Periods


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The Naval Dockyards Society is holding its 26th Annual Conference, which marks 25 years since the NDS was constituted.  The programme is outlined below and full details and a booking form are included here:

Booking Form_6 Portsmouth Conference 2022


National Museum of the Royal Navy Portsmouth 9-11 June 2022

Conference sponsored by the Society for Nautical Research

This 3-day hybrid international conference will present 6 speakers and a plenary session each day, probing these topics & themes

Keynote speakers Sir Neil Cossons OBE FSA, Professor Andrew Lambert FKC & Dr Antony Firth MCIfA

1.     Thursday 9 June 2022 Building a warship

Ship design: master shipwrights, naval architects

Recovering skills: repairing historic sailing ships and building replica ships/boats

Trades and crafts

Sourcing matériel

Construction methods

Time-work-discipline, work organisation

Private yard/royal dockyard comparison

2. Friday 10 June 2022 Dockyards as heritage

Museum spaces or working dockyard spaces?

Fossilised or living archive of dockyard structures?

Conservation issues

Tourism: costs and benefits

Repurposed dockyards as exemplars of regeneration

3.     Sat 11 June 2022 Dockyards as global hubs and regional centres of maritime culture

Transnational phenomena

Drivers of innovation and technology

Loci of national power projection

Unique urban landscapes

Distinct demographic communities

  • ‘Naval architecture’ encompasses the characteristics of dockyard structures and adjacent artisanal housing, as well as ship design. Ship timbers reused in dockyards create both tangible and intangible circles.
  • ‘Nodes’ are entanglements, central points in a complex or system.

 Optional specialist behind-the-scenes archive, ship, dockyard and harbour tours in the afternoons of 9 & 10 June 2022 will be advertised separately when finalised, such as the Admiralty Library Naval Historical Branch Reading Room – Georgian Dockyard Walking Tour – Boathouse 4 – Harbour Tour – HMS Warrior – HMS Victory – some free, others chargeable.



The Ordnance Society recently received the following e-mail.  Although the Weekend isn’t strictly about ordnance, there is a significant overlap with the military engineering involved.


Invitation to the English Civil War Earthworks Weekend at CEMA History

Professor Christopher Duffy described the English Civil War as “a war of trenches, ramparts, palisades, bombardments and blockades”. But just how easy was it to construct a gabion, a fascine, or any other type of fieldwork so common at the sieges or on the battlefields of the wars?

This is just the type of question that the Centre for Experimental Military Archaeology ( was created to explore. Led by Andrew Robertshaw (whose impressive CV includes military advisor to Steven Spielberg), CEMA has been established to provide an educational and a filmmaking resource, and has already recreated a length of British Great War trench at its base in Detling in Kent.

This autumn, CEMA is looking to take on the type of military engineering that would have been so familiar to soldiers (and occupants of besieged towns) of the English Civil Wars.

CEMA is inviting historians, re-enactors, students and anyone else with an interest in the more technical aspects of the period to spend the weekend of 16th and 17th October at CEMA HQ investigating and reconstructing fieldworks, exploring and learning the techniques of their construction.

Previous experience isn’t a requirement, but an enthusiasm for the period and a willingness to work and learn with other like-minded people is!

The intention is to limit numbers to around 20, and it’s hoped that these people will gain the knowledge and experience to pass on to others as this project is expanded in 2022 and beyond.

For further information, and to register your interest, please contact CEMA at


Jason Hulott

Head of Marketing

Centre for Experimental Military Archaeology

Tel 07940 521056