HMS Ganges

 

Shotley Gate and HMS Ganges

One of the most interesting and significant places on the Shotley Peninsula is Shotley Gate, at the very end of the peninsula.

From Shotley Point, there are superb views across the Orwell and Stour Rivers, over to the busy ports of Felixstowe (the largest container port in the country), and to Harwich and Parkeston Quay.

 

 

Harwich Town from Shotley 

There are exceptional views across to Landguard Point, where you can find Landguard Fort, an important piece of military history and architecture.
   

Shotley Point was destined to have strong connections with the Navy. Originally an Anglo Saxon settlement, Shotley Gate saw its first naval battle in AD885, when Alfred, King of Wessex fought off Guthrum the Dane’s invading army.

It was at Shotley Point, that the wooden ship HMS Ganges, was berthed from 1899, and used as a cadet training ship for the Royal Navy. When the Ganges vessel was finally retired (and towed away to Chatham), the training facility, still named HMS Ganges, moved ashore (in 1905).

The facility remained there until its closure in June 1976, when its training function moved to HMS Raleigh, Torpoint, Cornwall. More than 150,000 Navy recruits passed through the gates of HMS Ganges. It was later opened as a police training centre, but this too came to an end in the 1990s. The mast of the HMS Ganges still stands on the now-derelict site, which is proposed to be developed in the near future.

 

HMS Ganges many years ago

The Ganges Mast and gate in September 2004 

   

There is now a small but very interesting naval museum dedicated to HMS Ganges, in the picturesque setting of Shotley Marina. Details of the HMS Ganges can be found at the following link www.hmsgangesmuseum.com

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