Search the Collection
Advanced Search

Oak fragment from HMS VICTORY

Date: Late 18th century
250 x 35 x 10 mm
Medium: Wood
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Halcyon Evans
Object Name: Timber fragment
Object No: 00042349

User Terms

    This segment of oak was removed from the hold of the flagship of Admiral Lord Nelson, HMS VICTORY during one of the stages of repair, restoration or timber renewal work, probably during the 1955-1964 restoration.
    SignificanceThis fragment of oak offers a tangible link to the flagship of one of the world's greatest naval heroes.
    HistoryHMS VICTORY was launched at Chatham Dockyard in 1765 as a 104-gun First Rate Ship of the Line. It is the oldest commissioned warship in the world and is the major tangible link to the Napoleonic Wars and Britain's success against Napoleon Bonaparte. As Nelson's flagship in the Battle of Trafalgar it also serves as a memorial to the great Admiral and those who served in her.

    Prior to joining the British Fleet in battle against the French and Spanish, VICTORY underwent the Great Refit from 1800-1803; after Trafalgar major repairs were made and the ship was recommissioned in 1808. By 1900 the ship was no longer required and plans were made to put her into dry dock as a memorial. However due to the outbreak of World War I, she was forced to wait until 1922 to be taken into dry dock where, in order to restore her to the Trafalgar configuration and to preserve her structure, it become necessary to remove material and lighten her load. The restoration work continued up to 1928 and most of the materials were reused for her ongoing restoration. However over 30 tons of timber and ten tons of copper were not suitable for repair and this material was stored in Portsmouth dockyard - until its recent release by the Ministry of Defence (2005).

    Further restorations and repairs were undertaken in the period 1955-1964 and it was at this point that the hold was restored - 101 frames to the port and 104 frames to starboard were renewed or repaired. Two more periods of restoration were completed - 1964-2000 (The Great Repair) and VICTORY was fully restored by 2005 in time for the bicentennial celebrations.

    Additional Titles

    Assigned title: Wooden artefact from HMS VICTORY

    Web title: Oak fragment from HMS VICTORY

    Discuss this Object


    Please log in to add a comment.