Point of Interest

Cutty Sark

England / Europe

Cutty Sark was built at Dumbarton in Scotland in 1869 as a tea clipper, the last clipper ever built as a merchant vessel. She achieved the record of the fastest passage from London to Sydney in 1874. In 1895 she was sold to the Portuguese firm, Ferreira, then dismasted in 1916 and sold in Cape Town. In 1922 Captain William Dowman bought her and restored her to her original appearance. The Duke of Edinburgh set up the Cutty Sark Society (later Trust) in 1951 and saved her. In 1954 she was moved to a custom-built dry dock at Greenwich. In 1957 The Queen opened her as a museum, but she was badly damaged by fire on 21 May 2007, while partly dismantled for construction work. This meant that fortunately at least half her timbers were not on site. The fire meant that an additional £5-10 million was needed for her restoration, bringing the total to around £35 million. In January 2008 the Heritage Lottery Fund awarded the Cutty Sark Trust an extra £10 million, and an Israeli shipping magnate, Sammy Ofer, made up the balance needed. As well as a museum, Time Out hosts silent disco events beneath the deck of the Cutty Sark for those looking for a night of maritime history and dancing!  

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