HMS Warrior is a fascinating ship. It may be heresy to say so, but when I visited Portsmouth, I spent more time on HMS Warrior than I did on Nelson’s Victory. Warrior is a 40-gun steam-powered armored frigate built for the Royal Navy in 1859–61. Warrior and her sister ship HMS Black Prince were the first armor-plated, iron-hulled warships. Combining sail and steam, the two ships were briefly the largest, most powerful, and most technologically advanced warships in the world. Nevertheless, HMS Warrior‘s guns were never fired in anger and she was obsolete within a decade following her commissioning.
Perhaps the most remarkable thing about HMS Warrior is that she has survived. Her iron hull didn’t rot or hog, so she was used as a storeship and depot ship, assigned to the Royal Navy’s torpedo training school and ultimately was converted for use as an oil jetty. Restored over an eight-year period the grand old ship was returned to Portsmouth as a museum ship in 1987. Here is a video tour of HMS Warrior.