Officially opened by the Queen yesterday, the world’s last-remaining tea-clipper has undergone a £50million restoration project supported by a £25million grant by the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Efforts to preserve the Cutty Sark began in 2004 but suffered a major setback when the ship was accidentally set on fire in 2007. Fortunately much of the historic timber – including cabins, deck features, hull boarding and the mast and rigging – had already been removed for conservation work, and the Cutty Sark Trust say that nearly 90% of the fabric and fittings seen today come from the original vessel.
As well as vital conservation and cleaning, the Cutty Sark has also been raised 11ft onto a steel cradle. This both relieves stress on her hull and allows visitors to walk underneath for the first time, displaying the innovative design which made the Cutty Sark one of the fastest vessels under sail when she first launched in 1869.
The space also showcases a collection of over 80 ships’ figureheads, never before displayed together.
Lord Sterling, Chairman of both Royal Museums Greenwich and the Cutty Sark Trust, said: ‘Cutty Sark holds a unique place in the heart for the people of Greenwich, Great Britain and indeed the rest of the world, and it is splendid that she is re-joining the London skyline once again. We are indebted to those members of the public, from all over the world, who have generously contributed to the preservation of this much loved national treasure. We are also deeply appreciative of the many other major institutions, government bodies and foundations that have played a key role in providing the funds. In particular, our deep thanks to the Heritage Lottery Fund who have supported the project and stood by Cutty Sark through its difficult times, particularly following the fire, and allocating £25 million of public money raised through the National Lottery.’
Information for visitors:
Tickets to Cutty Sark can be purchased online at www.rmg.co.uk/cuttysark
Opening times: Tuesday-Sunday, 10.00 – 17.00 (open bank holidays, closed 25-26 December and Mondays until November 26th)
Visitor enquiries: 020 8858 2698
Admission: Adult £12 / Concession £9.50 /child £6.50 (aged 5-15) / Family tickets £20 (1 adult & 2children), £29 (2 adults & up to 2 children)
Bundled tickets will be available with the other Royal Museums Greenwich (RMG) attractions.
Transport: Cutty Sark is located a short walk from the Cutty Sark DLR, and Maze Hill and Greenwich train stations. The closest tube stations are North Greenwich (to change to local buses) and Canary Wharf (to change to DLR), both on the Jubilee line.