Icons of England
  • Introduction
  • The Icons
  • Nominations
  • News
  • Learn & Play
  • Your Comments

Cutty Sark

1156 of 1157 nominations


Cutty Sark

Is this an icon?


Cutty Sark

Along with Nelson’s H.M.S. Victory, the Cutty Sark (the name means ‘short shirt’) is one of the two most famous ships in Britain. Permanently moored at a specially constructed dry dock in Greenwich, she is a Victorian clipper built to serve in the tea trade with China. Launched in 1869, she only filled this role for eight years, before the opening of a route for steamships through the Suez Canal made the Cutty Sark’s route obsolete. After a decade transporting wool from Australia, she was eventually sold off to the Portuguese, then returned to England and the care of a Cornish seaman, Captain Wilfred Dowman. The ship is now an immaculately preserved museum, including – below-decks – a fascinating exhibition of old ships’ figureheads.

Image: Topfoto.co.uk


Your comments

Cutty Sark is the most beautiful reminder of our seafaring heritage, and is the only surviving tea clipper in the world - the bearer of the nation's favourite beverage

Anna Somerset

I'm upset to hear so many Scottish people offended, the Cutty Sark in my heart is not just an English icon, but a UK icon. There are many contributers that have helped her to be where she is today from many different backrounds. Without the help of the fundraising team and the HLF she may not live to tell any more tales :-(

The Cutty Sark is 100% Scots, from top to tail. The English must have a desperate shortage of home-grown icons to have to steal them from their neighbours. What next? The Forth Bridge? Edinburgh Castle? The Scottish Highlands? Scotch Whisky? Glasgow Rangers and Glasgow Celtic football clubs?

View All Comments (10)



I nominate the English weather.