Founded in 2008, Project Vernon is the campaign name of the charity committed to designing, constructing and installing a monument at the former HMS VERNON, in Portsmouth, Hampshire. Formerly the home to a range of specialist underwater warfare organisations, HMS VERNON provided a significant contribution to the defence of the nation for several centuries through the many skilled personnel who worked, trained and were based within her walls.
The planned 14 ton, 1.5 life-size Vernon Monument standing in five metres of water at Gunwharf Quays will be seen by a footfall of 8 million per year. The Monument will commemorate the mine warfare & diving heritage of HMS VERNON and celebrate all those involved in mine warfare, be it mine design, mining, minesweeping and mine hunting, as well as service diving and naval bomb & mine disposal - past, present and future. It will act also as a fitting memorial to those who died while engaged in such activities.
The Vernon Monument
As approved by Portsmouth City Council, the intended location for the monument is in the centre of the Gunwharf Quays development. The proposed site is 5 metres deep and is now an enclosed sea water lock. As identified with a green marker in the satellite view below, the monument will be mounted on a plinth in the centre of the water area, clearly visible to all visitors to the popular canal side area.
Previously, the waterway was a tidal canal known as “Vernon Creek”, once feeding the King’s Mill located four hundred metres to the east. In the 20th Century it was the regular berth for a range of Royal Navy/Royal Naval Reserve/URNU and Auxiliary vessels when the area was known as HMS Vernon – an operational Naval establishment and busy specialist training base for a variety of mainly underwater warfare schools.
Subject to Final Planning Permission from the City Council and agreement with Gunwharf Quays Management Limited for ongoing custodianship, once constructed the monument will be installed by crane onto a pedestal built in situ.