Everyone knows the careful and reverent attitude of the British to their past, represented in landmarks, castles, cathedrals and, of course, in museums. One of these relic museums, a witness to the history and development of Great Britain, known not only in England, is a ship-museum with a mystical name “Cutty Sark”.
Sailors have a sea of omens: they are afraid of the number 13, do not go to sea on Monday and others. And suddenly, in 1869, the clipper Cutty Sark appears, named after the heroine of Robert Burns’ poem, the Scottish witch Nan (“Short Shirt”). All seagoing vessels began to avoid it, and sailors said it was a bad idea. But the fate of the Cutty Sark, the only clipper to survive to this day, proved fortunate.
One of the relic museums, a witness to the history and development of Britain, known not only in England, is a ship-museum with a mystical name “Cutty Sark”.
The Cutty Sark, a ship designed to transport tea from China and later called a tea clipper, was built by Hercules Linton at the request of Captain John Willis. In the fall of 1869 the vessel had already set sail from the town of Dumbarton, where it was launched.
The clipper went down in history in 1872, when it, loaded with tea, set out from Shanghai at the same time as the fast clipper Fermopil. They were moving at virtually the same speed. Suddenly, about two weeks later, the Cutty Sark was rudderless. Captain Mowdy and his crew steered the clipper downwind by improvised means and at the same time made a new rudder, which took more than a week, and caused the tea clipper to reach London a week later than the Fermopile. But the captain’s dedication and determination to win made the Cutty Sark famous.
As time passed, steamboats were used more and more. The tea clipper at one time carried wool, gunpowder, whiskey, buffalo horns, and scrap metal until it was bought by the Portuguese company Fereira in 1895. In 1922, Captain Wilfred Doman became her next owner, restoring her to her original condition. Finally Cutty Sark was used as a non-transportable training vessel and in 1954, with the support of Prince Philip, she was transferred to London Museums and given a permanent home in Greenwich Dry Dock.
In 2007, the clipper survived a fire, and in 2012, after years of restoration work, the Cutty Sark opened its doors to visitors and became the most popular and visited attraction in the city.
You can walk on the decks of the legendary clipper, the bilges, go down and see its underwater part, which makes a strong impression. You can sit on the ship-museum in a cafe, go to a souvenir store and buy yourself something memorable.
Even if the clipper “Cutty Sark” is already century and a half, but it is alive and will be alive for a long time, because, according to the Russian writer Ivan Efremov, “…this ship was really born in a shirt. Let it be short, but happy”.
How to get to the Cutty Sark Museum
The museum is located at London SE10 9HT, Greenwich, King William Walk, on the Thames waterfront in Greenwich, next to Greenwich Park, the National Maritime Museum and the former Greenwich Hospital. It is accessible by tube to Greenwich, DLR Cutty Sark station.
Hours of operation
The museum is open every day from 11:00 to 17:00. It is best to buy admission tickets online.
- Monday 11:00 AM - 5:00 PM
- Tuesday 11:00 AM - 5:00 PM
- Wednesday 11:00 AM - 5:00 PM
- Thursday 11:00 AM - 5:00 PM
- Friday 11:00 AM - 5:00 PM
- Saturday 11:00 AM - 5:00 PM
- Sunday 11:00 AM - 5:00 PM