HMS Minotaur. Original page from The Illustrated London News dated April 8th. 1865 with the caption: “Our Iron-clad Fleet: HMS Minotaur, Built on the Thames.”
The following is the text of our blog published in Reach plc’s ‘In Your Area’.
HMS Minotaur was the lead ship of the Minotaur-class armoured frigates built for the Royal Navy during the 1860s. She was built by the Thames Ironworks and Shipbuilding Company at Blackwall in east London and launched in 1863. Minotaur was the longest warship in the Royal Navy with a ram below the waterline for attacking vessels and puncturing them below the waterline. She was also an armoured ironclad vessel with the bulk of her armaments placed in a traditional ‘broadside’position along her length. Although completed and launched into Bow Creek in 1863, she was not commissioned until 1867 having been put through a series of commissioning tests of her armaments and rigging. Minotaur spent most of her active career with the Channel Squadron, of which she was the flagship. In 1876 she became the first Royal Navy ship to be permanently fitted with an electric searchlight. Minotaur was the flagship for Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee Fleet Review at Spithead, Portsmouth, in 1887. However, later in 1887 she was decommissioned in Portsmouth and assigned to the Reserve until 1893. Ending up as a training ship she was sold for scrap in 1922. Minotaur never fired a shot in anger, the nearest she came to sinking another warship was when she nearly rammed the ironclad HMS Bellerophon as they were leaving Belfast Lough in 1868.