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Hidden Heroines

... the untold stories of the women of the Dockyard

“Hidden Heroines: the untold stories of the women of the Dockyard” is a new temporary exhibition set to open in No.1 Smithery at The Historic Dockyard in Spring 2021.

The exhibition explores the valuable roles women played throughout the Dockyard’s 400-year history, right up to present day.

From the women of the Spinning Rooms and Sail and Colour Loft, to tales of stowaways, women masquerading as men and the extraordinary women whose impact left a lasting legacy. The exhibition challenges the misconceptions and superstitions of women at sea, women’s place in war and highlights colourful characters including Jane Austen’s sister, Fanny, and Zandra Bradley, the first female apprentice, whilst not forgetting those who continue to work at the Historic Dockyard to this day.

Women of the Dockyard - we need you

We are looking to hear and record the stories of women who lived and/or worked at the Dockyard, served in the Royal Navy or any related trade. Domestic help, ex-apprentices, WRNS, ropery workers, nurses, volunteers, Sail & Colour loft ladies, apprentices, wives who lived on site, caterers, pub landlords, civil servants, engineers, painters, electricians … we would love to hear your stories. In addition any images or objects relating to this theme.

If you have anything relevant, please fill in a few details on the form below or get in touch with Vikkie Mulford via

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