Ship profile for the sailing ship: "HMS Unicorn"

Technical data of the sailing ship:

Name:HMS Unicorn
Ex-names:HMS Unicorn II, HMS Cressy
Registered port:Dundee
Type of rigging:VOLLSCHIFF
Type of ship:Fregatte
Year built:1822-1824
Yard:Royal Dockyard, Chatham, UK
Length (hull):50.50 m
Breadth:12.10 m
Draught:4.00 m
Ship's hull:Holz / Wood

Portrait of the sailing ship:

Last update: 10 Sep 2002

  • keel was laid in February 1822 in the Royal Dockyard at Chatham, launched on 30th March 1824, laid up in reserve.
  • 1857-62 lent to the War Department for use as a powder hulk at Woolwich, on her return was laid up again at Sheerness.
  • selected for conversion to a Drill Ship for the Royal Naval Reserve at Dundee, in November 1873 she was towed to Dundee and berthed in the Earl Grey Dock, on her arrival she replaced "HMS Brilliant", which was taken to Inverness.
  • 1906 taken over by the newly-formed Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve, and when the Reserves were combined after World War II she came under the new, unified Royal Naval Reserve.
  • during both World Wars used as the Area Headquarters of the Senior Naval Officer, Dundee.
  • to avoid embarrassment with a newly-built aircraft carrier, the Frigate's name was changed to "Unicorn II" in 1939, and in 1941 she became "HMS Cressy", in 1959, after the aircraft carrier had been scrapped, the Frigate was renamed "HMS Unicorn".
  • to make the way free for the new Tay Road Bridge she was moved down the river to a new berth in 1962, on initiative of Capt. Anderson, a former captain of the "Unicorn" she was saved from being scrapped this time.
  • 1968 the Unicorn Preservation Society was founded to preserve "Unicorn" for posterity, Prince Philip accepted "HMS Unicorn" from the Navy on behalf of the newly formed Society and Queen Mother became the society's patron.
  • it is intended to preserve the ship's original hull structure by placing her in a dry dock under a retractable canopy, this exciting method of preservation will allow the ship to be viewed in the open air during fine weather, and will allow for air circulation during the initial conservation phase.


Website (English, 07 Jan 2002):
H.M. Frigate Unicorn: visitor information, how to help, the ship with history and technical details, links, inquiries, questionaire

Literature for further reading:

We recommend the following references for your further research of the ship. The references marked with have been included in the generation of the ship profile on this page.

Otmar Schäuffelen
"Die letzten grossen Segelschiffe"
Delius Klasing Verlag 1997 ISBN: 3-7688-0483-6
(9. aktualisierte Auflage)
Page: 161 Source with picture Source with history Source with technical data

Otmar Schäuffelen
"Die letzten grossen Segelschiffe"
Delius Klasing Verlag 2002 ISBN: 3-7688-0483-6
(10. aktualisierte und erweiterte Auflage)
Page: 176 Source with picture Source with history Source with technical data