Happy Birthday HMS Trincomalee!

Published Monday, 7th October 2019

Happy Birthday to HMS Trincomalee - Britain’s oldest warship still afloat! She will be 202 years old on 12th October 2019.

This British Royal Navy frigate – one of only two surviving - was built in India and launched on 12th October 1817. She was built in teak, due to oak shortages in Britain because of all the ships that were built for the Napoleonic Wars.  HMS Trincomalee was named after the port of Trincomalee in Sri Lanka, which was a Royal Navy dockyard at the time.

Official pic of hms trinc from gallery reduced

On her first journey, Trincomalee sailed from India to Portsmouth, where she was put into reserve until her first commission in 1847 serving in North America and the West Indies. During this time, she sailed to Haiti to help quell riots and was sent to prevent a threatened invasion of Cuba. She also served as an anti-slavery patrol. In 1849, she was despatched to Newfoundland and Labrador in Canada before being recalled to Britain. Her second, and final, commission was with the Pacific Squadron which took her all along the west coast of America and as far north as the arctic.

HMS Trincomalee ended her sailing days as a training ship before being restored and becoming the centrepiece of the National Museum of the Royal Navy, Hartlepool.

Visitors can now climb aboard this very ship and soak up the extraordinary atmosphere above and below deck. See where the sailors slept on board and what they ate; inspect the officers’ cabins and the captain’s cabin and be amazed at the rows of cannons on the gun deck.

Back on dry land, you can enjoy the Fighting Ships experience! Find out exactly what horrible fears, trials and tribulations sailors would have to endure in the time of Nelson and the Battle of Trafalgar.

The authentically re-created historic quayside surrounding HMS Trincomalee is all hustle and bustle. You can meet press-ganged sailors from the Georgian Navy, follow in the footsteps of sailors, naval officers and travellers from the past, and meet the swordsmiths, chandlers, instrument makers, printers, tailors and more – who all contributed to everyone’s needs at sea. You can even experience the explosive firepower of guns and cannons with exciting live demonstrations and re-enactments all year round.

A fabulous new children’s pirate play ship was launched here at the National Museum of the Royal Navy in summer 2019 complete with swings, ropes, slides, gang planks and climbing frames and featuring an inclusive ground-level carousel, plus an additional play ship for toddlers.

RML 497, a Second World War Rescue Motor Launch, is a recent addition to the collection at NMRN Hartlepool, and will be on permanent display here following restoration.

For those keen to know more details on HMS Trincomalee, you can visit a further fascinating exhibition dedicated to this ship and its history on site. 

Tickets to the National Museum of the Royal Navy Hartlepool are now valid for 12 months, so if you visit now you can return for a full year - free! That’s all the school holidays taken care of!

The National Museum of the Royal Navy (Hartlepool) is a registered charity (No 1126283) and the funds it raises enables it to carry out engaging projects which bring naval heritage to life for local people, encourage visitors to the town and positively impact local communities.

Visitors will find an excellent gift shop here stocked with a great choice of affordable gifts and souvenirs.  Hot and cold drinks, delicious lunches and light bites are available in the Georgian-themed Quayside Coffee Shop which also offers “Jack Tar” lunch boxes for younger sailors.

All activities above are included with a valid admission or return ticket. Book online to save up to 20%.

**For more information, plus times and dates of activities visit the website or social media at www.nmrn.org.uk/hartlepool