The frigate Trincomalee, formerly the training ship Foudroyant,
is at the start of a major restoration program in Hartlepool, on the northeast coast of England.
Built for the Royal Navy in 1817 at the Bombay Shipyard (atacost£23,642!) to the Leda class, a heavy class designed to match the American frigates of the Constitution class,
she was constructed of Malabar teak, one of the reasons for Trincomalee’s remarkable survival.
The original plans for her construction were lost in the way to India in the sinking of HMS Java in 1812. The vessel which sunk Java was USS Constitution.
Trincomalee was put into ordinary (laid up) in Portsmouth on her return to England in 1819, during the aftermath of the Napoleonic wars, and was not recommissioned until 1847,
when she was sent to the North American and West Indies station, mainly being involved in anti-slavery duties. She returned to England in 1850 for refit.
In 1852 Trincomalee once again set sail for North America,
Trincomalee Restoration this time to the Pacific, where she was based at Esquimalt.
She reached England for the last time in 1857 to become a RN training ship for nearly 20 years.
R~scued from the shipbreakers in 1897 by the Victorian philanthropist G.Wheatley Cobb, whose boys’ training vessel Foudroyant
(Nelson’s old flagship) had recently been wrecked, she was renamed Foudroyant and served as a youth training ship for the next 90 years.
In 1986 however, the Foudroyant Trust, which had managed the ship since 1959, decided it could no longer continue the increasingly expensive training in a deteriorating historic ship.
She was taken by barge in 1987 to Hartlepool, the site of the Warrior’s recent restoration.
After a year-long study, the Trust resolved on December 1, 1989, that Trincomalee should be restored here in Hartlepool,
Trincomalee Restoration as the centerpiece of the ambitious revival programme for the Hartlepool and Teesside area.
A new dry dock is to be constructed in Hartlepool Docks for what are likely to be major hull repairs.
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