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Haslar Developments unveil waterfront show home to mark 320 years since Admiral Lord Nelson boarded HMS Victory Image

Haslar Developments unveil waterfront show home to mark 320 years since Admiral Lord Nelson boarded HMS Victory

25th May 2023

Haslar Developments Ltd have unveiled a new waterfront show home at Royal Haslar Waterside Village to mark 320 years since Admiral Lord Nelson boarded His Majesty’s Ship (HMS) Victory and the start of the Napoleonic War.

Inspired by Nelson, his legacy and unique and enduring connection to the Solent and Portsmouth, Royal Haslar Waterside Village, with input from Haslar Heritage group, has drawn inspiration from traditional naval materials, themes, imagery, historic artefacts and HMS Victory, to create a home of great character.

Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson (1758-1805) is one of Britain’s most revered and well known naval commanders and a cultural icon. Born in Burnham Thorpe in Norfolk, he lost is mother aged 9 and joined the Navy aged 12, as a midship man, under his Uncle.

Having passed his Lieutenant’s exam aged 29 he then forged a brilliant and successful career in the Navy and played key roles in many of Britain’s most important naval victories, including The Battle of Calvi in 1794 (where he famously lost the sight in his right eye), The Battle of the Nile in 1798 (in recognition of which he was made a Lord), The Battle of Copenhagen in 1801, and The Battle of Trafalgar in 1805.

Nelson was renowned for his leadership, strategic brilliance, personal courage, and of course his then scandalous and enduring affair with Lady Emma Hamilton.

On 16th May 1803, 320 years ago, Nelson boarded Flag Ship HMS Victory, just two days before the start of the Napoleonic War. Joining him as Ship’s Surgeon, was Warranted Surgeon RN1803, William Beatty.

The war saw The Battle Of Trafalgar not only deliver victory for England, but also Nelson’s own death on the same day: 21st October 1805. Attending the fatally wounded Nelson was Ship’s Surgeon William Beatty, with his medicine chest, which is now the property of the Haslar Heritage group who kindly shared the case, with its intricate hidden compartments and glass vials with the design team, who were also able to visit HMS Victory: the world’s oldest naval ship still in commission, which is birthed at the National Museum of the Royal Navy at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.

William Beatty’s medicine chest is currently on loan to the Greenwich Hospital Museum and will be returned to the Haslar Heritage group in the coming months.  Plans for a Royal Haslar Musuem are currently being finalised and it is envisaged that this will be operated by Haslar Heritage group, in association with The National Museum of the Royal Navy in Portsmouth.

Drawing upon such nautical materials as sail clothe, brass fixtures, leather strapping, wood, both highly polished and lime-washed, for inspiration and selecting a mood board with coastal colour palette, incorporating shades of pebble, sand, driftwood and deep blue, the design team created the perfect setting for the custom made high gloss, wood-framed chairs and sofa, upholstered in light sand leather, with dining and kitchen areas toning in pebble shades, with limewashed dining furniture. Accessories form a bold contract in deep blue and sand checks, with pride of place reserved for two key artworks:

The first a replica of the famous 1799 portrait of Horatio Nelson painted by Lemuel Francis Abbott which portrays Nelson in his rear-admiral’s undress, showcasing the gold epaulettes and Nile decorations on his uniform.

In the painting Nelson is wearing the diamond chelengk, the distinctive hat ornament gifted to him by the Sultan of Turkey. One of the most striking features of the painting is the empty right sleeve of Nelson’s coat, which is pinned across his chest, serving as a poignant reminder that he lost his right arm at Santa Cruz in July 1797.

The second print, a replica of the 1905 painting “Goodbye My Lads“, by British artist Fred Roe that depicts the moment Vice Admiral Horatio Nelson stands on the deck of HMS Victory, bidding farewell to his crew, before The Battle of Trafalgar in 1805.

Strategically positioned in the show home is a large nautical telescope that takes advantage of the stunning Solent view and offers a chance to observe passing shipping and the Napoleonic Solent Forts including Spitbank, Horse Sand, St Helens and No Mans Land, constructed in the late 1800s to protect the entrance to Portsmouth Harbour.

Telescopes played a significant role in Nelson’s life and that of all seafarers: it was during the Battle of Copenhagen that he famously held one up to his blind eye and declared that he couldn’t see the signal to end the action and retreat. This ultimately contributed to his triumph in the battle and is said to give rise to the phrase “turning a blind eye”.

The Nelson inspired show home at Royal Haslar is located in Canada House, one of the many listed buildings that define the historic location, and offers an internal entrance hall with cloak cupboard, bright open plan living area, with living and dining zones, and a fully fitted luxury kitchen with built-in appliances, a large double bedroom with fitted wardrobes and family bathroom.

Pat Power, Director of Haslar Developments comments: “Creating our own homage to one of the greatest Britons and naval heroes of all time, here at Royal Haslar, to mark 320 years since Nelson boarded Victory to lead the country in a conflict that cost him his life, has been an honour.

“We are delighted to be able to show the new Nelson inspired show home to visitors and talk further about Nelson, Royal Haslar’s rich naval history and the future of Royal Halsar Waterside Village.

“Haslar Heritage group have been most helpful in providing us with access to William Beatty’s medicine chest, providing a direct link to the Admiral, and it is great to have them as part of our future plans, which will see the creation of a new home for the group, in the form of a Royal Haslar Museum.”

Designed by Theodore Jacobsen, architect of Dublin’s Trinity College, under the auspices of the Earl of Sandwich, First Lord of the Admiralty Royal Haslar was originally built as a waterside community to convalesce sick and wounded sailors and marines of the Royal Navy, operating for over 250 years from 1753 until 2007, it cared for the wounded from many wars, including the Napoleonic.

Royal Haslar is  Grade II-listed, situated in 62 acres of grounds overlooking the waters of the Solent and is being transformed into a new £200 million (completed value) waterside village Once complete, Royal Haslar will provide over 550 converted and newly built residential houses and apartments, including both market sale and senior living homes, in addition to the creation of commercial space that is planned to include retail amenities also open to non-residents, including a café, convenience store, pub/restaurant and leisure facilities.

Senior living and open market apartments at Royal Haslar are available at Canada House priced from £265,000 and Trinity House, with homes due to be released shortly priced from £220,000.

All homes come with tele-support emergency call as standard with a wide range of additional services also available, including cleaning, meal delivery and support. For further information contact Fox & sons on Tel: +44 (0)1329 288425 or visit the Royal Haslar website:

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