Greenwich Maritime Museum & Cutty Sark (London - England)

On my last visit to Greenwich, I did miss quite a few places so I went again - this time for the Museum & Cutty Sark. Along with Queen's House & Royal Observatory these 2 come under the Royal Museums Greenwich. However these 2 do not come under UNESCO. 
Cutty Sark is a Victorian marine clipper ship built in 1869 and its surviving in a pretty great shape till now. 90% of the hull planks are actually the original timbers made of Indian Teak (remember the teak fell at Nilambur)??? The metal work today is in 2 sections - painted white & grey. The white part is all the original structure and the grey has been installed later for support. The wear and tear is pretty much evident in the white part!
It was 1658 the first ever ad for tea came up in London and it was in 1669 that the first consignment of tea came here via East India Company. Much later in 1838 Indian Tea from Assam (which is a Georgraphical Indication) was brought here. Till then Tea was very costly; so much that payment was in silver, opium smuggling happened and 2 wars were fought called 'Opium Wars'!!! And finally in 1870, soon after Cutty Sark was built a huge cargo came in from Shangai making tea accessible for all!
The lower and the middle holds were once used to transport tons of tea from China to England. Getting to numbers, 10000 tea chests were loaded in Shangai whose worth in today's currency would be £18.5 million pounds, which can make 200 million tea cups. I'm trying to figure out how many tea cups a person would have in his lifetime!!! Today the entire deck is filled with chests which bear Chinese writing, oriental designs and more. There are also digital displays that explain the history. 
Later on from 1883, as the ship began to age, it was used to transport wool from Australia. More than 4000 bales of wool was transported in one cargo which was enough to make 12.5 million jumpers! In its time, this was the fastest ship and its record was 17.5 knots (around 20 mph). The fastest was by Capt. Richard Woodget in 1885 reaching London from Syndney in just 73 days. In the middle deck today, is a digital 'game' which enables the visitor to navigate the sail from Australia to England. The lowest I could hit was 94 days!

In 1922 it was retired and was used as training ship and in 1954 it was brought to Greenwich for public display. In 2007 it went through a major fire accident and was restored. Today, the middle hold is completely filled with artifacts of the marine crew and prototypes of the their equipments including compass, telescope, camera, post box, phone etc. 
There is also a piano on-board then, in display! Also in touch & feel of some of the jobs that the crew members had to do including clearing pig's crap, washing dirty socks etc!!! 


On the upper deck are the mast, ship's wheel etc and from where the view was majestic! Here were also the rooms of senior crew members, captains etc, radio room, compass room and the dining hall (saloon). 

After seeing all this was the most spectacular view of the ship from down under. The ship is on an elevated dock resting on a platform with viewing glass. So its possible to get exactly below the ship!!! Here is display is also a collection of figure heads. Figure heads are the 'dolls' that are displayed in front of the ship. The Long John Silver Collection is the largest collection of merchant navy figure heads.

From there, my next stop was the Maritime Museum at a walk-able distance. Some interesting pieces included a large painting by J.M.W.Turner, a collection of figure heads (these 2 are of HMS Ajax - 1809 & HMS Bulldog - 1845) and badges. 

An extremely decorated ship was Prince Fredreick's Barge which was the Limousine of the 18th C! A unique stern decoration shaped like a building was of HMS Implacable of early 19th C. A section of the Museum is dedicated to the East India Company and the various products that was brought in here from various colonies of  England. India is ofcourse one of the major colonies that gave gorgeous clothing, spices and tea!
It was good but my expectation was higher! There were very few artifacts and a huuuuuuge global map in the first floor. Well, I guess I have to go once again to Greenwich. The Queen's House is opening to public again only in July. A visit here along with the Fan Museum would be perfect!

To Get There:
Nearest railway station: Cutty Sark (DLR)
Entry Ticket at Cutty Sark: £12.15 per adult
Available to buy online on their website.
Entry at Museum: Free

P.S: I was invited by Cutty Sark to experience it for review purposehowever the opinions are my own and this post does not to advertise the product/service.

Dedicated to Venkat

Bhushavali N

An ardent traveler by passion. I am a wanderlust.. Read more about me here.

20 comments:

  1. Wow what an awesome post! Your pictures are amazing. It would definitely one place I wold like to see after reading your blog. Thank you

    ReplyDelete
  2. Such an informative post. Beautiful pictures too. Boats & their voyages for centuries ago fasinate me. It is so hard to concieve how they worked (so slowly) especially with such huge hauls. Thanks for sharing. Looks like a great day out

    ReplyDelete
  3. So that is what Cutty Sark is. I only knew that name from liquor bottles I see, now I know where that name comes from.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I feel you should enlarge the pics a bit to give better experience

    ReplyDelete
  5. Ships are always fascinating, especially the old ones that gives you a glimpse of what it was like in the past. This museum is something I'll enjoy, thank for sharing your experience!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Did tea originate from China? This ship has gone through a lot throughout history. It's interesting to know some facts associated with it. Was there a tourist guide to tell you about all these stories?

    ReplyDelete
  7. Who doesn't love museums?!! I would love to visit this one, especially to see the ships. Great pictures. :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. I hope the Queen's house is open when I finally get to go. The artifacts look so interesting, and I'd love to know more about the Tea Trade. :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. The displays were really amazing. I like the mail box. :-) The artifacts make me visualize the era during the time these were still being used. I really like visiting museums and places of history.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I would love to feel like a pirate when visiting the Maritime Museum. You can really learn a lot here.

    ReplyDelete
  11. It would be cool to visit the Maritime Museum and Feel like a Pirate. You can learn a lot here.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Woowww. This is a great post. I have to surely check google on this place for more info on this

    ReplyDelete
  13. Geez, only if I can travel the world that fast, I will definitely be visiting this place too. The maritime museum looks so fascinating. I wish I can come there soon.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Lovely photos and well captured. My son would love to explore this place and will come back with endless questions.

    ReplyDelete
  15. It must have been so fun pretending to be a member of the ship's crew! I wish we had something similar in Manila :)

    ReplyDelete
  16. Every time I visit museum, I prefer to be in those people's shoes and imagine how life would be that time. Your pics are so vibrant. Felt like visited the museum actually!

    ReplyDelete
  17. There is so much to do and see in the UK and the more I read your posts, the more I realize that I need to make a return visit. I love visiting places like this and I'm adding this on my place to visit the next time I'm in the UK.

    ReplyDelete
  18. I love going the the museums, Will definitely love to visit this one too.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Always love your travel posts! Thanks for taking me around Greenwich this time!

    ReplyDelete
  20. made me remember my visit couple of years ago...enjoy

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for visiting...!
Why not leave a comment.?
And tell your friends..!!!

cookieassistant.com