HMS Warrior - History and Facts | History Hit

HMS Warrior

Portsmouth, England, United Kingdom

The HMS Warrior was launched in 1860 and is the sole surviving warship of Queen Victoria’s Black Battle Fleet.

Lily Johnson

01 Jun 2021
Image Credit: Shutterstock

About HMS Warrior

The HMS Warrior is the sole surviving warship of Queen Victoria’s Black Battle Fleet, which when constructed was the largest, fastest, and most powerful of her day.

HMS Warrior history

Built over the course of 35 months and launched in 1860, HMS Warrior represented a marked innovation in naval design. She was unique amongst the world’s armoured warships in having a wrought-iron hull and dual steam and sail power source, and became the name ship of the Warrior-class ironclads.

Yet despite – or indeed because of – her military superiority, HMS Warrior never fired a shot in the course of conflict. Instead, she served as a symbol of the power of the British navy and a deterrent to its enemies, before it was decommissioned in 1883. As it had been at the forefront of naval innovation, just 10 years after construction HMS Warrior had begun to be considered obsolete as newer models were designed. It was later later restored however and is now open to the public at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.

HMS Warrior today

Today, a visit to HMS Warrior offers the public the chance to immerse themselves in the world of the Victorian sailor and view firsthand this triumph of 19th-century engineering. It has been preserved in perfect 1860s condition with 4 vast decks to explore, and guests are encouraged to have a truly hands-on visit.

With costumed staff acting at the Victorian crew of the ship, visitors are afforded an in-depth look into its history, and when combined with visits to HMS Victory and the Mary Rose give a larger view into how Britain’s naval past developed over the centuries.

Getting to HMS Warrior

HMS Warrior is located at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, with the entrance through Victory Gate at the corner of Queen Street and The Hard. It can be reached by leaving Junction 12 of the M27 and following the brown tourist signs on the M275, with parking available near the docks. Portsmouth Harbour Train Station, The Hard Bus Interchange, and the Gosport Ferry and Wightlink/Fast-Cat foot-passenger terminal are all a short walk away.