Prince Frederick's Barge - Greenwich, London, UK
Posted by: Metro2
N 51° 28.881 W 000° 00.340
30U E 707908 N 5707607
Quick Description: This barge is located in Britain's National Maritime Museum.
Location: London, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 1/29/2012 2:21:55 PM
Waymark Code: WMDM57
The National Maritime Museum does not charge an admission fee and does permit non-flash photography.
The Museum's website (visit link
) informs us:
" Prince Frederick's barge is on display in the Maritime galleries, level 0 (ground floor). See floor plan.
This state barge was built for Frederick, Prince of Wales, eldest son of King George II. At around 19.2 m (63 ft) in length, it is one of the Museum's largest objects.
She was designed by the architect, landscape gardener and painter William Kent, and built by John Hall on the south bank of the Thames just opposite Whitehall in 1732. Kent’s drawings for the barge, including a hull plan, have been preserved at the Royal Institute of British Architects.
The hull is built in the wherry tradition and the barge had 21 oarsmen. The original oars are still in her. The carving was executed by James Richardson, who succeeded Grinling Gibbons as Master Carver to the Crown in 1721. Paul Petit used 24-carat gold leaf throughout to gild it. The stern emblem is the Garter Star below the Prince of Wales’ Feathers. At a later date a crown was added to the roof.
The barge’s first journey was to convey the Royal party (the Prince of Wales, his mother Queen Caroline and his five sisters) from Chelsea Hospital to Somerset House to inspect the cleaning of the royal collection of paintings. They were accompanied by officers and ladies in a second barge and a 'Set of Musick' in a third.
The barge was often used for journeys of pleasure connected with paintings and music. In 1749, for a regatta in Woolwich she was decorated in the newly-Chinese style or chinoiserie, and the 21 oarsmen were dressed in oriental costume.
After Prince Frederick’s untimely death in 1751, the barge became the principal royal barge used by successive monarchs, together with Queen Mary’s shallop (also on display in the museum). In 1849 she made her last appearance afloat when Prince Albert with two of his children was rowed to the opening of the Coal Exchange. She was then sawn into three sections and stored in the Royal Barge House at Windsor Great Park for over 100 years before being brought to the Museum.
Queen Mary’s shallop was built in 1689. She was last used in 1919 by the King and Queen for a peace pageant."