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British wooden man o' war ships in Kirkwall Bay
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British wooden man o' war ships in Kirkwall Bay

British wooden man o' war ships in Kirkwall Bay 1864.
Note iron pier.
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Picture added on 06 September 2009 at 16:07
Fascinating photo, though I think it dates from a few years later. The Zetland Estate Office at the Kiln Corner (now the Wireless Museum) visible here was built in 1866. You can also see an extension being built on the Orkney Herald printing works. That extension is shown on the 1881 OS map. Between those two dates there was, I think, just one fleet visit to Kirkwall, that of the Channel Fleet in 1874. From checking the names of the ships against photos on the internet, this seems to be them. The two five-masted ships on the right are the flagship Agincourt (1865) and Northumberland (1866). In the middle is the distinctive shape of Devastation (1871), the first British warship not to be rigged for sail. The others in the fleet were Monarch (1868), Resistance (1861), Triumph (1870), Sultan (1870) and the tender Lively. I don't know if they are all visible in the photo. There's a lot to be seen in the foreground too, or rather not to be seen: no Kirkwall Hotel, St Ola Hotel, Tower Building, or top floor on the Union Bank (now Bank of Scotland).
Added by Paul Sutherland on 13 September 2009
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