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Portsmouth Historic Dockyard - HMS Victory & HMS Warrior

Launched in 1860 at Blackwall, London HMS Warrior was the largest fastest and most heavily armed warship afloat. Constructed of wrought iron Warrior was also the world's first iron-clad warship and powered by steam as well as sail with a top speed of 15 knots.

Warrior's figurehead was carved locally on the Isle of Wight. The original was made in Portsmouth only to be left on the deck of HMS Royal Oak when Warrior was in collision with the ship in 1868.



The helm, it was not unusual to have 16 men at the wheel to keep the ship in check. It took more than three turns of the wheel to go from midships to hard astarboard or vice versa, below the whole system replicated below decks.




The 110-pounder Armstrong breech loading stern chaser gun.


The gun deck and some of the twenty six 68-pounder muzzle-loading guns, it was also on this deck that 600 of the crew spent most of their time.


One of Warrior's eight 110-pounder Armstrong breech loading guns.


A Navy Colt revolver.


The coal-fired galley on the gundeck was where everybody's meal was cooked by old or disabled seamen with limited cooking abilities. Mess cooks and officer's stewards brought food in bags to be boiled in the large copper pans or the tanks in the middle of the range.

The signal flags read: Discover                                                   Warrior 1860



Within a few years of her construction Warrior was overtaken by more advanced ships. After a somewhat undistinguished service she was converted for use as a floating oil jetty. In 1929 the ship was towed to Pembroke Dock in South Wales where she performed this undignified job for the next 50 years. But HMS Warrior was not forgotten, in 1979 she was towed to Hartlepool for complete restoration. After eight years of hard work by a wokforce of over 140 she was restored to her former glory. In June 1987, 58 years after leaving as a decaying hulk she returned home to Portsmouth.

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All Photographs copyright David Packman © 2002 - 2009 (All Rights Reserved)