The blueprint for future warships

HMS Invincible was the Royal Navy’s very first Invincible. She was built by the French in 1744, captured by the British in 1747, and became the blueprint for all Royal Navy 74 gun ships. She sank in 1758 after only 14 years of use. What makes this ship so special?

Invincible and Chatham

Immediately after her capture in 1747, the Royal Navy measured every inch of her drawing up plans that became the template for future Royal Navy 74 gun ships. The first to be built, with some British adaptations, was the Valliant; built at Chatham Naval Dockyard in 1759, a year after the Invincible sank. When Invincible was re-discovered in 1979 the things found on her during archaeological excavations in the 1980s, were given to Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust. Some of these items can be seen today on display in the ‘Wooden Walls’ exhibition.