Uruguay ambassador opens new Buckler’s Hard exhibition for nelson’s favourite ship, HMS Agamemnon

September 1, 2022

Uruguay Ambassador César Rodriguez Zavalla and Naval Defence Attaché Captain Frederick Fontanot were given a tour of the historic riverside village of Buckler’s Hard on a visit to open its new HMS Agamemnon – Navigating the Legend exhibition.

Buckler’s Hard Director, the Hon. Mary Montagu-Scott created the exhibition to tell the story of how nations are working together to preserve the wreck of Admiral Nelson’s favourite ship, affectionately known as ‘Eggs and Bacon’ by her crew, which is now at risk of being exposed to erosion, treasure hunters and ship worm decay.

The Uruguay guests of honour were shown the film of the story in the Shipwrights Workshop, where it can now be seen by visitors to Buckler’s Hard alongside a model of the 64-gun ship. More fascinating artefacts from HMS Agamemnon, Nelson and the village’s shipbuilding heyday can be seen inside Buckler’s Hard Museum.

Guests were also taken on a picturesque River Cruise along the beautiful Beaulieu River, to see the history and wildlife of the unspoilt haven at one of the best preserved 18th century historic shipbuilding villages in the UK.

HMS Agamemnon was built at Buckler’s Hard from 2,000 oaks and launched there in 1781. She fought in the Battle of Trafalgar and served the Royal Navy for nearly 30 years, before sadly sinking without trace after being wrecked off the coast of Uruguay. She was only rediscovered in 1993.

Now invasive whelks from the Indo-Pacific have eaten the native mussels which covered the wreck for over 200 years. A team of maritime archaeologists, led by Prof Jon Adams at the Centre for Maritime Archaeology at the University of Southampton, has joined forces with experts from Uruguay to apply for permission to survey the wreck to see how to preserve her.

Mary Montagu-Scott said: “I have always dreamt of seeing this wreck, as HMS Agamemnon is the only surviving wreck of a ship built at Buckler’s Hard in the world.

“I have created this exhibition at Buckler’s Hard to promote and tell the story of how we will work jointly across nations to preserve the remains for future generations. The story is one that can bring our nations together, share the history, science and knowledge, and develop and celebrate our friendship through Maritime Archaeology.”

She added: “This project has the full support of the British Embassy in Montevideo and we are delighted that they sponsored our exhibition film to promote the project and the sharing of this important Royal Navy cultural heritage.

“Everyone is volunteering their time to the project and if permission is given to carry out the survey, funding will have to be raised to pay the costs of the project such as equipment and travel to Uruguay.”

Project partners span the nations and include UNESCO, OCEANIDS in Uruguay, the National Museum of the Royal Navy as well as the Maritime Archaeology Trust in Southampton and Department of Archaeology at Bournemouth University.

Visit the exhibition for free

Following changes that took place at Buckler’s Hard last year, the HMS Agamemnon – Navigating the Legend exhibition can be seen for free in the Shipwrights Workshop, along with free access to the grounds of Buckler’s Hard village, the Shipwright’s Cottage and charming St Mary’s Chapel, with its smugglers’ cellar beside the altar.

Then see the discount code on site for 20% off your admission to the Buckler’s Hard Museum, where you can find Nelson’s original baby clothes and discover more remarkable tales about the history of the village and the ships that were built there.

Until October 30th, step on board the River Cruise to explore the timeless tranquility of the village and enjoy the stunning scenery from the water. It’s the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Drop anchor and find refreshments with the new menu at The Captain’s Table, where you can tuck into a delicious cooked breakfast, tasty lunch or sumptuous afternoon tea. Or pick up a snack, ice cream or hot drink at any time during the day.

For tickets and details click here or call 01590 616203.

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