As one of the most famous warships in the world under Admiral Lord Nelson’s command at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805, HMS Victory secured its place in the history books.
The oak forests of Britain were harvested to build the fleet that ensured Britannia ruled the waves in the Napoleonic wars. ‘Hearts of oak’ the Royal Navy anthem still further assured the legendary status of oak in the minds of British seafarers. But did you know that the keel of HMS Victory is made of English elm?
Elm was probably chosen for its durability when wet and its resistant to splitting. The keel is the major part of the ship, which ties together the upright frames, the stem and stern post.