The Historical Diving Society's Diving Museum is located in the only substantial remains of a once extensive system of defences known as the
Stokes Bay Lines.
Built in 1860, the No. 2 Battery stood at the eastern end of system of moats and ramparts that stretched from here to Fort Gilkicker. Traces of the ramparts can be found in the line of trees to the east of the battery.
The museum itself contains a comprehensive collection of diving equipment, which is inevitably of more interest to diving enthusiasts than it is to the lay visitor.
Please check the Society's official site for opening times, admission prices, etc.
The diving helmet was invented in 1823 by brothers John and Charles Deane from Deptford. Originally designed as a "Smoke Helmet" to be used by firemen in smoke-filled areas, they later adapted it for use underwater, and carried out the first trials from Whitstable in 1829. In the same year they carried out their first commercial dive off the Isle of Wight.
John Deane moved to Gosport in 1835 to build his business, returning to Whitstable in 1844 after his first wife died. There he continued to work for the Admiralty. During his time in Gosport he dived on the HMS Royal George, HMS Boyne and on the wreck of the Mary Rose. He died in 1884 and is buried in Ramsgate.