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Port Cities: The working Thames - HMS Warrior: 'A black snake among rabbits'?
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HMS Warrior: 'A black snake among rabbits'?


Her Majesty's Iron Cased Steam Frigate Warrior
View full size imageBritain's first iron-hulled ship HMS Warrior. © NMM

HMS Warrior was the first iron-hulled armour-plated frigate. Her construction revolutionized warship design.

At the time of her launch in 1860 she was by far the longest and largest warship ever built. She displaced more than 9000 tons and had a 6.5:1 length to beam ratio. She was the most famous ship to be constructed at the Thames Ironworks at Blackwall.

The Thames Ironworks at Blackwall
View full size imageThames Ironworks at Blackwall. 

During the second half of the 19th century, the Thames Ironworks was the most important shipbuilding works on the River Thames. It was also one of the biggest private shipbuilders in the country.

The ironworks built several of the biggest and most famous vessels of the time. One of the largest employers in east London, it survived until 1912, when competition from northern shipyards made the Thames-side shipbuilding industry unprofitable.