Life at sea
Gain a fascinating insight into the lives of sailors and seamen throughout history. From the protocols of the Royal Navy to the traditions, customs and working lives of 18th and 19th century crewmen, we explore what life was really like on the high seas.
The introduction of steam power in the 19th century revolutionised the shipping industry and made Britain a world-leader in shipbuilding.
A captain going down with his sinking ship is one of the strongest and most honourable traditions of the sea.
The Royal Navy introduced coloured cloth on to their uniforms in 1863, so that it was possible to distinguish between naval departments.
A Matthew Walker Knot keeps the end of a rope from fraying but its origins are a mystery.
The first naval Victoria Cross was awarded to Charles Lucas while serving as a Mate on HMS Hecla in 1854 during the Crimean War.
The ‘Vikings’ were seafaring raiders and traders from Scandinavia. The period known as the Viking Age lasted from AD 700 until 1100.
Tattoos have adorned the highest born royals and the lowliest sailor in Europe for at least 5,000 years.
Cleopatra’s Needle is the obelisk that stands on the Thames Embankment in London. It was transported from Egypt to London in 1877.
From brass buttons to bell-bottoms, garments traditionally worn at sea have long been adopted and adapted to create new fashions and statements.