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HMS 'Warrior' (1860 – present)

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The first modern warship
Known for

Her Majesty's Iron Cased Steam Frigate Warrior.
View full size imageHer Majesty's Iron Cased Steam Frigate Warrior. © NMM
HMS Warrior was the first sea-going iron hulled vessel in the world - some would call her the first modern warship. 

On 27 November 1858, the Admiralty began discussions with Captain Sir Baldwin Walker, Surveyor of the Navy, concerning the design of a new armoured, screw

The launch of HMS Warrior.
View full size imageThe launch of HMS Warrior. © NMM
frigate. When she was completed, she was the largest and most powerful armoured warship in existence and eclipsed the famous French warship, La Gloire

HMS Warrior combined a number of innovative new designs in naval

The Warrior at Pembroke Dock.
View full size imageThe Warrior at Pembroke Dock. © NMM
architecture. She was powered by both steam and sail, and contained the largest set of marine steam engines to be in operation during the late nineteenth century. When she was sailing, her telescopic funnels were lowered to the deck.

Iron hulled vessels became the future of the Royal Navy. HMS Warrior pioneered a new era in armour, speed and firepower in naval warfare. She was refurbished and returned to Portsmouth Historic Dockyard in 1987, where she remains to this day.

Port Connection

View of the stern of HMS Warrior while under construction at Thames Ironworks.
View full size imageView of the stern of HMS Warrior while under construction at Thames Ironworks. © NMM
HMS Warrior was built by Thames Ironworks at Blackwall between 25 May 1859 and 29 December 1860. Her engines were installed in the nearby Victoria Docks and she was fitted out at Chatham Dockyard.

One of the preferred contractors used for these engines was John Penn and Sons of Greenwich. Penn pioneered the trunk engine for screw ships, and it was this system that was used in HMS Warrior.

· Length: 128 metres (420 feet)
· Beam length: 17.78 metres (58 feet 4 inches)
· Displacement: 9180 tons
· Three masts and a bowsprit
· Sail area: 4,496 square metres (48,400 square feet)
· Machinery: 1 shaft. A two-cylinder Penn trunk engine. 10 boilers each holding 17 tons of seawater
· Propeller weight: 26 tons
· Hull length: 73.2 metres (240 feet). It was constructed with a partial double bottom. This was subdivided into 92 watertight compartments
· Armour: 11.4 centimetres (4.5 inches) of iron to stretch from the upper deck to 1.5 metres (5 feet) below the water line, with 45.7 centimetres (18 inch) wood backing and bulkheads of 11.4 centimetres (4.5 inches)
· Armament consisted of forty guns in total. Ten 110 pdr, twenty-six 68 pdr and four 40 pdr.
· Carried a complement of 707
Life Story
27 Jan 1859The Royal navy Board receives Isaac Watt’s design for the new warship
Apr 1859Fifteen proposals are submitted to the Royal Navy Board
6 May 1859Orders are placed for the two new warships
25 May 1859The keel is laid down
29 Dec 1860HMS 'Warrior' is launched
8 Aug 1861HMS 'Warrior' moves down the Thames
21 Sept 1861She arrives in Portsmouth
1862HMS 'Warrior' joins the fleet
1864HMS 'Warrior' is refitted
1867The vessel returns to service
1872HMS 'Warrior' is refitted with a poop and a steam capstan
1880Both vessels of the Warrior class are re-classified as armoured cruisers
1883Withdrawn from service
1902Converted to a depot ship
1904Renamed 'Vernon III' and used as a storage and depot ship
1923Hulked in 1923 and used as an oil pipeline pier at Pembroke Dock in Wales
1945Renamed 'C77'
1979The Manifold Trust begins the restoration of HMS 'Warrior' to her former glory
1987HMS 'Warrior' returns to Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, where she is permanently moored to this day

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