Figurehead of the HMS Grampus

Basic Information

Figurehead type
Figurehead of the HMS Grampus
Vessel name
HMS Grampus (formerly HMS Tremendous 1784-1845)
Type (Naval/Merchant)
Copyright owner
© National Museum of the Royal Navy
Copyright notes
Photo: © National Museum of the Royal Navy
Current location
National Museum of the Royal Navy, Portsmouth
Location date

Physical Information

This figure is a representation of Neptune, the god of water and sea from Roman mythology. The male bust has long black hair and a beard. He wears an eastern crown decorated with pearls. The figure is nude, draped at the midriff with a blue cloth. The base of the carving is plain with scroll detailing.
Hellyer of Portsmouth
Date made
Place made
Object history
This more appropriate figurehead was carved for the vessel when it changed its name to HMS 'Grampus'. The design by Hellyer was £5.15.0. This carving remained on the ship until it was broken up in 1897. Now the figurehead is part of the NMRN collection.
Vessel history
HMS 'Grampus' (1845-1897) began as HMS 'Tremendous' in 1784. This 3rd rate, 74 gun ship was built by William Bernard of Deptford and launched from there in 1784. HMS 'Tremendous' won battle honours at the 1st of June in 1794 and Cape of Good Hope in 1795. The vessel was rebuilt at Chatham between 1807-1811, altering the design to integrate diagonal framework. In 1845 more alterations were made and she became a single gun-deck frigate with the name HMS 'Grampus'. In 1856 'Grampus' was stationed at Portsmouth as a powder depot and later a war department depot. She was bought and broken up by J. Read of Portsmouth in 1897.
David Pulvertaft ‘The Warship Figureheads of Portsmouth’ (Stroud, 2009) p.70

Ownership Information

Owner type
Public Institution
Owner name
National Museum of the Royal Navy
Contact details
National Museum of the Royal Navy, HM Naval Base (PP66), Portsmouth PO1 3NH
Ownership can be cited online
Accessible to public
Data verified by owner
Date verified

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