History→Training days

1857 to 1861

Trincomalee is once again placed 'in ordinary'.

1861 - January

Trincomalee was towed to Sunderland to act as tender for the drill ship HMS Castor, a vessel used to train Naval Volunteers (boys of 15 or 16 who had signed up to serve for a minimum of ten years once they reached the age of 18). During this time Trincomalee's gun ports were altered to accommodate her training armament.


Trincomalee was moved to West Hartlepool, at the time Britain's third biggest port, and, although no one knew it at the time, her future permanent home. Placed in the Union Dock, she was again classified as a training command.

1870 - April

Trincomalee is upgraded with new guns, refurbished upper deck and a roof to hold out the weather.

1873 - January

Trincomalee was recommissioned.


Trincomalee was moved to Southampton Water as a district drill ship.


A new upper deck and galley were amongst several refurbishments.


HMS Medea was assigned to the role of Southampton area training ship, and Trincomalee was 'reduced to reserve' with the intention being to use her as a depot.

1897 - May

Trincomalee was sold to Reed's of Portsmouth for breaking. However, at roughly the same time TS Foudroyant, once Nelson's flagship and then a private training ship owned by Mr Wheatly Cobb, was wrecked in a storm off Blackpool. Cobb instantly snapped up Trincomalee to replace his lost vessel.

1897 to 1902

Trincomalee was moved to Cowes for repairs and conversion, including the addition of an additional poop deck covering the quarter deck. In 1902 she was moved to Falmouth and repainted.


HMS Trincomalee is renamed TS (Training Ship) Foudroyant, after the lost vessel she was replacing.

1903 to 1927

As Foudroyant, Trincomalee was home to hundreds of trainees for their introduction to basic nautical skills.


TS Foudroyant was moved to Milford Haven.


On Cobb's death she was presented to the Society for Nautical Research by his widow. The SNR relocated her to Portsmouth together with Implacable, where both ships were administered by the Implacable Committee of the SNR, and employed in the youth training role.

World War II

During World War II both ships were requisitioned for war service, firstly as storage ships until 1943, when they were commissioned as one unit, HMS Foudroyant. The unit was used for training new-entry Hostilities Only Ratings, including especially entered Bounty Boys (ex-Sea Cadets).

1949 to 1986

Implacable was ceremonially scuttled after proving unsafe, and Trincomalee once again became the sole incarnation of Foudroyant. With a Trust to support her, she continued in her training role until 1986.


TS Foudroyant fell victim to changes in nautical training, and also a reduction in numbers of schoolchildren requiring the seagoing skills she offered. However, as the second oldest ship afloat (only the USS Constitution is older) it was decided that restoration was a fitting fate for this priceless relic from the Age of Sail.

Planning a visit ?

24th March

Opening Times

11:00 - 16.00 daily

National Museum of the Royal Navy 
Jackson Dock
Maritime Avenue
TS24 0XZ

T: 01429 860 077