HMS Caroline (1914), Belfast

The HMS Caroline is over 100 years old and is the last surviving ship to have served in the Battle of Jutland in 1916. 

Built by Cammell Laird of Birkenhead, the HMS Caroline was launched in 1914 and served in the North Sea during the First World War. She’s part of an early sub-set of class-C light cruisers and was based in the Orkney Islands during the War, then served at the Battle of Jutland in 1916 as part of the Grand Fleet’s 4th Light Cruiser Squadron. The ship came to Belfast in 1924 where she served as a headquarters and training ship for the Ulster Division of the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve. Her weapons and boilers were mostly removed and she continued to be the Belfast headquarters for the Royal Navy right up until 1945. After the Second World War, she was returned to the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve and was a training boat for Ulster volunteers. 

In 2009 she was decommissioned and moved ashore. Support from the Heritage Lottery Fund and the National Heritage Memorial Fund meant that she could be restored and opened as the National Museum of the Royal Navy in 2016. 

Visit the Captain’s Cabins or the Ward Room to see what life was like for the Officers on the ship, and make the most of the interactive exhibits where you can read about who actually served on board. The engine rooms are noisy and rumbly and you can almost imagine yourself sailing out to the North Sea. There’s an adventure playground and picnic area nearby, and occasional special events on board such as a Gin Festival and Dinner with the Belfast Operatic Society.

Public Domain
Public Domain
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