• Our collections

    Our collections

Shipbuilding & Ship Design

HMS Unicorn has a fascinating collection of objects connected with the history of shipbuilding and ship design. This collection spans the entirety of the ship’s life, but with a focus on the early 19th century.

With publications, ship plans, artwork and historic tools, this collection explores the changes in ship construction throughout the Georgian era and the new technologies of the Industrial Revolution.

Scroll down to discover some of the key pieces from this collection.


  • Plans of HMS Unicorn

    The plans of HMS Unicorn show the original design of the ship and her fellow Leda-class frigates of the 1810s and 1820s. These plans highlight some of the unique design features of Unicorn including her elliptical stern and diagonal truss framing.

    The plans are signed by the ship’s architect, Sir Robert Seppings, and were presented to the charity on behalf of our patron, HRH The Princess Royal.

    Plans of HMS Unicorn

    The plans of HMS Unicorn show the original design of the ship and her fellow Leda-class frigates of the 1810s and 1820s. These plans highlight some of the unique design features of Unicorn including her elliptical stern and diagonal truss framing.

    The plans are signed by the ship’s architect, Sir Robert Seppings, and were presented to the charity on behalf of our patron, HRH The Princess Royal.

  • Shipwright Tools

    Our large collection of shipwright tools date from the 19th century to the modern era, including adzes, augers, irons and planes.  These tools highlight the traditional techniques and craftsmanship required in wooden ship construction and maintenance.

    Shipwright Tools

    Our large collection of shipwright tools date from the 19th century to the modern era, including adzes, augers, irons and planes.  These tools highlight the traditional techniques and craftsmanship required in wooden ship construction and maintenance.

  • Tours

    Our school tours are tailored for different age groups and are led by members of our learning team. Each tour lasts approximately one hour and allows pupils to explore all four decks on board.

    We also offer the opportunity for ‘Self-Guided Tours’ and can supply teachers with background notes and handling material that they can use to explore the ship with their class.

    Tours

    Our school tours are tailored for different age groups and are led by members of our learning team. Each tour lasts approximately one hour and allows pupils to explore all four decks on board.

    We also offer the opportunity for ‘Self-Guided Tours’ and can supply teachers with background notes and handling material that they can use to explore the ship with their class.

  • Workshops

    HMS Unicorn has a range of hands-on workshops designed for all ages and abilities.

    These workshops are designed to support the Curriculum for Excellence and are open to nursery, primary and secondary schools.

    Our workshop topics include:

    • Ship design and construction (STEM)
    • Life at sea in the Georgian Navy
    • The Royal Navy and Royal Naval Reserves
    • Dundee in the 19th and 20th century
    • World War I and II
    • Pirates!

    Workshops

    HMS Unicorn has a range of hands-on workshops designed for all ages and abilities.

    These workshops are designed to support the Curriculum for Excellence and are open to nursery, primary and secondary schools.

    Our workshop topics include:

    • Ship design and construction (STEM)
    • Life at sea in the Georgian Navy
    • The Royal Navy and Royal Naval Reserves
    • Dundee in the 19th and 20th century
    • World War I and II
    • Pirates!
  • Useful Downloads

    We offer a selection of material to help prepare your class for visiting HMS Unicorn. These resources are in PDF format and free to download.

    For teachers:

    For pupils:

    Useful Downloads

    We offer a selection of material to help prepare your class for visiting HMS Unicorn. These resources are in PDF format and free to download.

    For teachers:

    For pupils:

  • School Art Competition

    The HMS Unicorn School Art Competition takes place every year between January and April and is open to every nursery, primary and secondary school in Dundee.

    With a new theme each year, the competition encourages young people to develop their artistic and creative expression while exploring local heritage and culture.

    The competition is sponsored by Scotmid and winning artworks can be viewed at our online exhibition.

    Scotmid School Art Competition 2019

    School Art Competition

    The HMS Unicorn School Art Competition takes place every year between January and April and is open to every nursery, primary and secondary school in Dundee.

    With a new theme each year, the competition encourages young people to develop their artistic and creative expression while exploring local heritage and culture.

    The competition is sponsored by Scotmid and winning artworks can be viewed at our online exhibition.

    Scotmid School Art Competition 2019

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