THE NATIONAL MUSEUM ROYAL NAVY COLLECTIONS

EXPLORE THE COLLECTION

The National Museum of the Royal Navy tell the epic story of the Royal Navy, its impact on Britain and the world from its origins in 625 AD to the present day. It tells this story through the country’s most comprehensive collection of Royal Navy heritage. Use this portal to search some of this collection and get an understanding of its international significance.

COCHRANALIA

The Cochrane Collection was acquired by the Warrior Preservation Trust and the Royal Navy Museum in 1984 and contains over 1,200 documents, photographs, and objects relating to the Cochrane Family. In particular the collection includes letters and correspondence of Admiral Sir Arthur Cochrane, the son of Admiral Thomas Cochrane, 10th Earl of Dundonald. Arthur Cochrane served as the Captain of HMS Warrior during her first commission from 1861 to 1864 and went on to serve as Commander-in-Chief of the Pacific Fleet. This collection has now been reunited under the National Museum of the Royal Navy.

SAIL VS STEAM

As Britain’s first Iron hulled, armoured battleships, HMS Warrior revolutionized the British navy. Built in response to the French ship La Gloire, Warrior was the largest, fastest, and most powerful warship of her day. She carried a full sailing rig, a steam angina and a retractable screw propeller. The technological advancements made in naval design advanced so quickly that Warrior, once the great naval deterrent, became obsolete just 20 years after her commissioning. This collection highlights material related to HMS Warrior’s technical achievements.

BRITANNIA'S VOICES

An oral history project recording the life and training of cadets between 1930 and 1989 at Britannia Royal Naval College (BRNC) The project was undertaken by the college, with the archives being deposited with the museum for long-term preservation.

HMS WARRIOR'S RESTORATION

This collection includes photographs plans and documents relating to the 1980s restoration of HMS Warrior. This project endeavoured to preserve Warrior’s original material and rebuild the non-existent or modified portions of the ship, returning her to her 1862 appearance. It was first discussed in 1967, and began in 1977 when she was transferred from the Ministry of Defence to the National Maritime Trust. This organisation was founded by HRH the Duke of Edinburgh and made up of notable men such as Frank Carr, Director of the National Maritime Museum, and John Smith, MP for the Cities of London and founder of the Manifold Trust. Though the initial process began in Hartlepool, she was moved over a 4 days down to Portsmouth in June 1987 where she remains today.

WARRIOR ART

The Warrior art collection primarily consists of modern artwork created from the 1980s onwards representing how she may have appeared under sail and steam during her active naval life. In order to imagine her appearance, artists regularly sought inspiration from the ships commanding silhouette against the Portsmouth harbour.

OLD WARRIOR

HMS Warrior’s original crew totalled 695 officers and men. Since her restoration in 1987, The Warrior Preservation Trust and now the National Museum of the Royal Navy has been collecting material and information relating to her crew in an effort to build and expand her story. Here is a selection of some of the original objects and documents which has been collected, and can be traced back to the original crew. If you have information or historic material which may be of interest to this ongoing project please email library@NMRN.org.uk