Penarth Dock, South Wales - 150 years - the heritage and legacy  
Penarth Dock, South Wales - the heritage & legacy . . .

Volume Two - The Era of Optimism, Investment & Development - The demise of H.M.S. Exmouth at Penarth Dock - 1905 . . .

Hamadryad Hospital Ship at Cardiff

Hamadryad - 1906

H.M.S. Hamadryad was towed from Plymouth and berthed in Cardiff East Dock to serve as a seamen's hospital opened in November 1866. Built at Pembroke Dock and launched in July 1823, she was a 5th rate, 46 gun, warship at just over 1,000 tons gross with a length of 152 feet and a beam of 46'-6". [366]

The lower of the two images above illustrates 'Hamadryad' in 1906 complete with her figure-head which was held as an exhibit at the former Welsh Maritime Museum, Cardiff. The figurehead was carved in wood by Dickerson of Plymouth and cost £8. [120]

A ward aboard the Hamadryad Hospital Ship at Cardiff

A ward on-board the Hamadryad Hospital ship c.1870. The hospital is mentioned in many of the newspaper reports on the main Penarth Dock website and was, in fact, the nearest hospital to the Penarth Dock and Ely Tidal Harbour. Fees were charged to cover the hospital running costs to every ship entering the port of Cardiff at a rate of 2/- (10p) per 100 tons registered weight and the hospital provided free medical treatment to seamen of all nationalities. Following her sale she was broken up in 1905, being the same year as the new land-bound Royal Hamadryad Hospital was opened in Ferry Road. [366]

Royal Hamadryad Seamen's Hospital - by J. L. Wheatley, Town Clerk, Cardiff - The Old Hamadryad Ship. - 'Prior to the 1st November, 1866, there was no Seamen's Hospital at Cardiff, and sailors were treated at the Infirmary or at the Union Workhouse. Early in 1866 the matter was taken up and representations were made to the Admiralty, with the result that the Frigate Hamadryad, then lying at Devonport, was lent by the Government as a Hospital for Seamen of all nations. The Hamadryad was built at Pembroke Dock about 1840, and was subsequently taken to Devonport to be fitted out. She was, however, never completed for service.

On being towed to Cardiff she was placed in the East Bute Dock and fitted up as a Hospital with accommodation for 50 in-patients, at a cost of £1,414. In 1867 the ship was removed from the East Dock to a site given by the late Marquis of Bute to the west of the entrance to the Glamorganshire Canal, where she remained until the opening of the new institution. She was subsequently sold and broken up.

In order to give some idea of the work carried on in the old Ship, it may be mentioned that during the time she served as a Hospital, 17,464 in-patients received treatment, and 237,928 out-patients were treated.' - Cardiff Records - Volume 6 - [650] [000] [20180904]

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