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 33d. West Hartlepool (4) HMS TRINCOMALEE

The figurehead of HMS Trincomalee and one of its cannons.

Trincomalee is a frigate, which were light, fast and agile warships that concentrated their firepower on one deck. They were no match for the more powerful 'man o war' 'ships of the line' but they could outrun them. Frigates could seek out and destroy hostile merchantmen, pirates, slavers, and other naval vessels of similar size. They were also important for long distant communications, carrying dispatches and orders to and from squadrons and locating and harassing enemy vessels until the main fleet could catch up and engage in battle. British colonies all over the world would regularly see frigates, either stationed in a port or available to protect British interests in the surrounding region. Trincomalee was built of teak and was constructed between 1816-1817 in the Wadia shipyards at Bombay (Mumbai), near the teak forests of Malabar. Master shipbuilder Jamsetjee Bomanjee Wadia supervised construction. Trincomalee served in the Caribbean, the western Pacific, visited Russia and plenty of other places where British Empire interests were to be protected.

The three masted frigate. The multiple ropes from the first fighting top to just behind the base of the bow sprit are called the shrouds. You can just make out that the hull is coated in sheets of copper to protect the wooden timbers from rot.


The upward angled long bow sprit points away from the bow and its figurehead.


The figurehead and cat head.


There is an excellent display depicting the history HMS Trincomalee.

The Quarter Deck and Forecastle

The guns on the quarter deck.


The capstan and wheel on the quarter deck.


The masts, rigging and fighting top platforms.




The elaborately designed stern of HMS Trincomalee.


A cannon on the quarter deck and looking up to one of the fighting top platforms.

Gun Deck (Upper Deck)

The anchor, rigging pulleys and a row of cannons on the main gun deck.


The food seems to cooked on the main gun deck!


A row of guns on the Gun Deck (Upper Deck)

Mess Deck (Lower Deck)

The officers and captain lived in considerably more civilised conditions than the rest of the crew!


The living conditions of most of the crew!

Orlop and Hold

The bottom of the ship - filled with ballast, barrels of ?, spare ropes and cannons.

Last look at HMS Trincomalee before departure.

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