Fore Top sail from HMS Victory to be on display

A 3,618 square foot top sail that served HMS Victory at the battle of Trafalgar will be on display at the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard to mark the 200th. anniversary of this historic battle.

It was stitched together in the Chatam sail loft in 1803, staying on board Victory after Trafalgar, until Nelson's flagship came home for repairs in 1806.

The sail did go on exhibition in 1891, and again for the centenary of Trafalgar in 1905, when it could be seen in HMS Victory.

The original Fore Top Sail of HMS Victory

The original Fore Top Sail of HMS Victory

It was not until 1960 when this famous piece of canvas surfaced again, from under a pile of gym mats at Victory Barracks, now known as HMS Nelson.

It has been estimated that the sailmakers of the day, 200 years ago, would have toiled over 1,200 hours to stitch this top sail together, it has an 80 foot base, and weighs in at a hefty 370 kilograms.

Commanding Officer of HMS Victory comments.
The CO of HMS Victory, Lieutenant Commander Frank Nowosielski, ( what a very un English name ) commented: " It is a great honour to be able to display the only surviving sail from the Battle of Trafalgar to the public during this bi centennial year.

HMS Victory's fore top sail is a unique artefact from the battle and the period. It is a testament to the skill of the Georgian sailmakers who manufactured the sail that it remains intact today."

Lord Nelson's HMS Victory

Lord Nelson's HMS Victory

Preservation for the future.
To preserve this precious artefact, it is now stored in environmentally controlled conditions in Store 10, in the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.

Lord Nelson's HMS Victory


A link to this excellent site about Nelson's Flagship HMS Victory.


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