HMS Warrior (1860)

Some facts and figures

HMS Warrior - starboard broadside
Photograph: HMS Warrior (1860), starboard broadside view - © Peter J. Milford

'A black vicious ugly customer as ever I saw, whale-like in size, and with as terrible a row of incisor teeth as ever closed on a French frigate'
Charles Dickens

HMS Warrior transformed concepts of naval warfare when she first joined the fleet in 1861 as part of Britain's response to an uneasy peace with France - and concerns over French maritime ambitions. Warrior was revolutionary - at a stroke all existing ships were rendered obsolete. Warrior housed all her main guns, engines and boilers within an armoured iron hull, and could be driven by both steam and sail. The combination of iron hull, armourplate, breechloading guns and powerful steam screw propulsion meant that she could outrun and outgun any ship afloat.

HMS Warrior: Port bow
© Photograph: HMS Warrior, port bow - Peter J. Milford
HMS Warrior
Ordered: 11th May 1859
Blackwall, London
29th Dec. 1860
1st Aug. 1861
End of First Line service: 15. Sept. 1871
Reserve fleet: 1st Apr. 1875
End of active service: 31st May 1883
Restoration begins: 3rd Sept. 1979
Returns to Portsmouth 16th June 1987
HMS Warrior: Starboard quarter
© Photograph: HMS Warrior, starboard quarter - Peter J. Milford
Design specifications
Length overall: 420 feet (128m)
Deck length: 380 feet (116m)
Beam (Width): 58 feet (18m)
Displacement: 9,210 Tons
Draught: 26 feet (8m)
Maximum speed: 13 knots (Sail)
14.3 knots (Steam)
17.5 knots (Sail and Steam)
Armament: 26 muzzle loading 68 pdrs (31kg)
10 breech loading 110 pdrs (50kg)
4 40 pdrs (18kg)
Cost: £377,000
HMS Warrior was built at Thames Ironworks, Blackwall, London, to the order of Admiral Baldwin Walker, Controller of the Navy, and to the design of the Royal Navy's Chief Constructor, Isaac Watts. She was built at a time of rapid change and was overtaken by new designs in a matter of just a few years. Warrior's active service life as a first line battleship lasted just 12 years!

Warrior was built almost exactly 100 years after HMS Victory. At first glance she appears to be remarkably similar - but closer examination reveals the impact of 100 years of technological change. Warrior is built of IRON, has heavier guns on a single gun deck (technically she is a frigate although rated as a battleship) and she now has STEAM power as well as square rigged sails on three masts (fore, main and mizzen) and a bowsprit.

Ships Complement: HMS Warrior
Officers: 42
Warrant officers: 3
Seamen and Boys: 455
Royal Marine officers: 3
Royal Marine NCOs: 6
Royal Marines: 118
Chief Engineers: 2
Engineers: 10
Stokers and trimmers: 66
Total ships complement: 705 men and boys

At the time of Trafalgar (21st October 1805), HMS Victory had a ships complement (crew) of 821. Warrior had a crew of 705 - of whom only 455 were seamen. There were now 78 men to service and maintain the steam boilers, engines and other machinery. Victory required a large crew to service her 104 guns on three gun decks (1st rate ship of the line) - Warrior only has 34 guns on a single gun deck - but the muzzle loading cannon are more than twice as heavy (68 pounders - 31kg) as the largest guns on Victory (32 pdrs) and the new Armstrong breech loading guns fire 110 pound (50kg) shells.

The Upper Deck - Under sail - The Maindeck - Armament - The engines and boiler room
The Captain's cabin - The Wardroom and Officer's cabins - Food on Warrior
Raising the anchor - HMS Warrior - facts and figures - Warrior - a short history
Return to Warrior tour home page

Page creation: July 1998
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Prepared by staff and students at St Vincent College for HMS Warrior (1860)