263 years since HMS Namur launched…
Hidden beneath what used to be the Wheelwrights shop, timbers laid undiscovered until 1995.
It was then discovered that these timbers belonged to HMS Namur. A second-rate ship of the line, HMS Namur was built at the dockyard and launched on the 3rd March 1756. She participated in many a battle including the Battle of Havana (1762) and the Battle of Biscay (1805).
She was broken up in 1833 and it is 10% of the frame that has been found underneath the floor at The Dockyard. It is however a mystery as to why the frame was kept in such a manner. The timbers are all belonging to HMS Namur rather than various ships. To this day we don’t know if she was kept altogether because it was perhaps the Captain’s favourite ship or purely because there was no other timber to use.
Namur also held notable crewmembers. One of her captains was none other than Charles Austen, a brother of the notable author Jane Austen. Olaudah Equiano was also on-board HMS Namur and served as a powder monkey. Olaudah was a former African slave who was active in the British abolitionist movement and through his book there are tales of his time on board Namur.
Today visitors can learn how a ship is built through our Hearts of Oak gallery which brings you through to the timbers of HMS Namur and her story in much more detail. Have you seen the timbers?