The original West Country school was established in 1838 onboard the San Joseph at Plymouth. In 1856 the school transferred to the Cambridge. She was broken up in 1869 and the school moved to HMS Windsor Castle which was renamed to become the fifth Cambridge.
In 1907 the school moved ashore to the Royal Naval Barracks. In 1940 the AA Range was established on the site of a holiday camp at Wembury, with the object of providing live firing practice to gun's crews.
On completion of the war it was decided to keep the range, and the land was purchased in 1948. In 1950 approval was given to build permanent accommodation and this work proceeded over the years - the final major buildings in the programme being opened in April 1977.
In 1956 the whole Gunnery school from Royal Naval Barracks moved to Wembury, commissioning as the seventh HMS Cambridge. From then the main task was to provide live firing practice with the conventional weapons for Officers and Ratings qualifying in gunnery and for ship's gunnery Teams.