The Stornoway painted by the author
The Stornoway painted by the author

The full rigged ship Stornoway was built by Alexander Hall of Aberdeen for Jardine & Matheson and launched in September 1850. Her classification was 12A1 – at 527 tons in the new measurement her other dimensions were 157 feet x 28 feet x 17 feet 6 inches. The Stornoway was one of the last of the old style ships with hemp standing rigging, outside channels, single topsails and t’gallants, while crossing skysails on the fore and main masts. Nevertheless, the dainty little Stornoway proved to be an extremely fast little ship.


The Chrysolite, was another tea clipper synonymous with the Stornoway, and those two ships were said to be the first British designed tea clippers. Compared with the Torrington of 1845, which was a schooner rigged opium clipper, the Stornoway and Chrysolite were both ship rigged, a fact which gives added credence to the claim that they were the first ever British tea clippers.

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