Cutty Sark Conservation Project

The Cutty Sark conservation project has helped to save one of the world’s last surviving tea clippers and provided generations to come with a new way to engage with the ship and explore her history.

The three-masted clipper is one of Britain’s greatest maritime treasures having made her name as the fastest ship of her era. From 1869 to the mid-1920s, she carried cargo ranging from the finest teas to gunpowder, and from whiskey to buffalo horns.

The re-launch in 2012 followed one of the most complex conservation projects ever undertaken on a historic ship. The project succeeded in rescuing Cutty Sark and preventing her from collapse, while preserving as much of the ship’s original fabric from the period of her working life as possible.

In a brilliant feat of engineering, Cutty Sark has been raised 11 feet (3.3 metres) into the air, preserving her unique shape. Visitors can now walk underneath the ship and view the innovative design, which was the secret to her success – enabling her to reach the record-breaking speed of 17 ½ knots from Sydney to London.

Lord Sterling, Chairman of both the Royal Museums Greenwich and the Cutty Sark Trust, said:

“Cutty Sark holds a unique place in the heart for the people of Greenwich, Great Britain and indeed the rest of the world, and it is splendid that she is re-joining the London skyline once again.”
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