Figurehead of the HMS Warrior

Basic Information

Figurehead type
Figurehead of the HMS Warrior
Vessel name
HMS Warrior
Type (Naval/Merchant)
Copyright owner
© Warrior Preservation Trust
Copyright notes
Photo: © Warrior Preservation Trust
Current location
HMS Warrior, Portsmouth Historic Dockyard
Location date

Physical Information

Full-length bearded figure with sword and buckler clad in roman armour.
Norman Whitehead and Norman Gaches
Date made
Place made
Wootton, Isle of Wight
Object history
A replica figurehead made when the ship was restored during the 1985. The last of three replica figureheads commissioned for HMS Warrior is also at Portsmouth Historical Dockyard. The first was destroyed in a collision with HMS Royal Oak in August 1868. It was a representation of a Saracen with scimitar designed by Hellyer of Rotherhithe. A more traditional replacement was made by the same carvers and placed at the main gate of the naval torpedo school, between 1900-1963. However, due to its exterior location the figurehead soon deteriorated irreparably. After a final move to Home Fleet Headquarters in Middlesex the figurehead was destroyed due rot. During the ships reconstruction at Hartlepool, two carvers were enlisted, Jack Whitehead and Norman Gaches of Wootton, Isle of Wight. Between 1981-1985 they created the figurehead that exists today.
Vessel history
Launched in 1860 'Warrior' and her sister ship 'Black Prince' were the first, iron-hulled, armour-plated warships. Paid off in 1883 she served as a depot ship and store ship. From 1904 she served as the torpedo training school 'Vernon III'. From 1927 she was converted into an oil jetty. After 1973 she was handed over to the Maritime Trust for restoration. From 1985 she has been berthed at Victory Gate, Portsmouth Dockyard, near Portsmouth Harbour Railway Station.
David Pulvertaft ‘The Warship Figureheads of Portsmouth’ (Stroud, 2009) p.26

Ownership Information

Owner type
Public Institution
Owner name
Warrior Preservation Trust
Contact details
Victory Gate, HM Naval Base, Portsmouth, Hampshire PO1, 3 QX
Ownership can be cited online
Accessible to public
Data verified by owner
Date verified

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