England Travel

Museums in Hartlepool

My husband and I recently visited two museums in Hartlepool, National Museum of the Royal Navy & HMS Trincomalee and Museum of Hartlepool. The second one is free, but there is a fee for the first one. Even so, it’s worth it and, even more, you can have access to the museum for an year with the ticket. Considering how far is from us, is unlikely we would visit it again this year, but that’s the only reason we will not go there again. There are a few things we’ve missed, as in displays by volunteers/staff, and I imagine they have ever more things going on during the summer months. Look on their website for more details.

National Museum of the Royal Navy

The museum is quite big, with plenty of houses to look at and, of course, HMS Trincomalee. There is a cafe and a play area that looks pretty impressive. On the day we went, there were gun displays and rope making display and a couple of other things to see in the afternoon. It might look like it was a warm day, but it was not, it was just very sunny and gorgeous, but quite chilli too.

HMS Trincomalee

HMS Trincomalee is the oldest warship afloat in Europe. It can be visited only with a guided tour, but that’s even better. As the staff or volunteers are dressed in period costumes and they say interesting details and stories about the ship, on top of answering questions. The tour was one of the highlights of our visit.

The ship was built in Bombay, India, in 1817.

On the deck of HMS Trincomalee

Captain's room on HMS Trincomalee

Captain’s room on HMS Trincomalee.

Lower decks on HMS Trincomalee

This is where the sailors would have slept.

Cat on HMS Trincomalee

Transporting barrels on HMS Trincomalee

Cook on HMS Trincomalee

HMS Trincomalee was restored in the 1990s, being re-floated in May 2000. It took 11 years and 750,000 hours of work to restore it, but more than 60% of the original ship is retained.

National Museum of the Royal Navy. Outside

These are the kind of shots that would have been fired from the ship. The round shot is the one we all know. Besides that, there is the chain shot, made from two iron balls joined by a chain. It was shot at the sails with the aim to slow the manoeuvrability of the ship.
The bar shot is like a dumbbell, this one was used for the mast of the ship, to break it. The grape shot is the one with lots of small iron balls in a canvas. After it was shot, the canvas would disintegrate and the iron balls would hurt a lot of men. Lastly, the canister shot is the one with small iron balls in a canister. It would shatter on impact.

On the historic quays, there are a lot of houses to visit, and the Cafe. I picked a couple of photos to share from those houses.

Interior at National Museum of the Royal Navy

The Swordsmith’s shop has a few rooms to look in.

Interior at National Museum of the Royal Navy

The tailors are very interesting too.

Cafe at National Museum of the Royal Navy

The Cafe is nicely decorated and you might be able to get a table with a lovely view of the ship, as we did.

Cakes at National Museum of the Royal Navy

The cakes were ok.

 National Museum of the Royal Navy. Interior

After around three hours at National Museum of the Royal Navy & HMS Trincomalee, we went to see the Museum of Hartlepool. It’s in the same location, they share the same gift shop.

Museum of Hartlepool

This is a much smaller museum. But, even so, it is interesting.

Exhibit at Museum of Hartlepool

This is Herman, the merman. In the old days, museums would buy all sort of animal specimens to put on display, including a fake animal like this one. It did pleased the paying public though.

 Exhibit at Museum of Hartlepool

Both museums are on Jackson Dock, Maritime Ave, Hartlepool TS24 0XZ. National Museum of the Royal Navy and HMS Trincomalee is £10 per person for adults and Museum of Hartlepool is free. Wingfield Castle, another ship, can be visited at times, but it was closed when we went there. That is also free of charge.

2 Comment

  1. You’ve shared some really interesting photos from these museums. I love that Captain’s room – fancier than I would have expected for a warship. Great explanations about the various types of canon shot, too.

    Herman’s pretty funny!
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