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

Volume Eight - Pre-Victorian to the present day - more aspects - Art and Artists of the Penarth Dock area . . .

British School - 19th Century - H.M.S. 'Hamadryad' hospital ship under tow off Penarth Head.

British School - 19th Century - H.M.S. 'Hamadryad' under tow off Penarth Head.  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". [002] [20200527]

However, I have reservations regarding the identity of the vessel since the Hamadryad Hospital Ship arrived at Cardiff, had been converted, and opened to its first patients during November 1866. The features in the background provide evidence that the painting is later than this date since the Mercantile Marine Offices adjacent to the Customs House at the entrance to Penarth Dock were not even put out to contract to be built until February 1867. Whilst St. Augustine's church on the headland and the Custom House fit the date of H.M.S. Hamadryad arriving at Cardiff, the tug towing the vessel is of a much later design, probably dating from the last decade of the 19th century, or perhaps, the first decade of the twentieth. Also, rounding Penarth Head in the distance is a twin funnel vessel, clearly with white funnels ; Campbell's White Funnel Fleet did not commence operations in the Bristol Channel area until 1887. Hamadryad left Cardiff for the breakers yard at the end of her useful life as a hospital ship during September 1905 being towed in the opposite direction! So, my conclusion is that this vessel is unlikely to be the Hamadryad but perhaps another Royal Naval hulk on her way to be broken up and at a date closer to the turn of the century.

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