The Hoods Tower Naval Museum is located in the Trincomalee Peninsula on a high ridge overlooking the entrance to the Trincomalee Inland Harbor in the Sri Lanka Navy Dockyard. The museum derives its name from an observation tower named after Vice-Admiral Sir Samuel Hood, Commanding Officer, East-West Station. It is at this museum that the unique history of the Sri Lanka Navy from the defeat of the LTTE to the end is presented to the visitor.
The old artillery at the entrance was intended to deter the enemy, and they were excavated from land buried for a long time or in the inner harbor area. Forts built by European colonialists meant protecting the island’s lucrative trade, especially the spice trade. They were used to prevent Sinhalese attacks in the Kandyan kingdom or to compete with European trading companies. The Hoods Tower, an observation post built by the British to give the museum its name, has vintage mirrors still active on World War II swivel mounts and provides a good view of the entrance to the harbor.
The huge guns and underground ammunition magazines that are now part of the museum were first built by the British in the 1920s. Six-inch guns are about four kilometers long and can destroy enemy ships approaching Trincomalee. Some guns are actively operated by the Sri Lanka Navy for symbolic reasons. In the 1990s, the Navy converted it into a naval museum with many artifacts. Most of the museum is located on the ground floor and underground enclosures built during World War II. The house here is a collection of weapons, equipment, and weapon systems used by the Navy. Among the war gifts on display are captured Sea Tiger warships, suicide boats, and LTTE weapons.
Underground magazines are attractive construction work with winches and conveyor belts to bring the ammunition to the surface. The steps leading to the chamber, about 30 feet deep, are coated with silica and glow in the dark. This is to help the guards find their way without using lamps when attacked.