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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Stone frigate is a nickname for a naval establishment on land. The term has its origin in Britain's Royal Navy after its use of Diamond Rock, off Martinique, as a 'sloop of war' to harass the French. The command of this first stone frigate was given to Commodore Hood's first lieutenant, James Wilkes Maurice, who, with cannon taken off the Commodore's ship, manned it with a crew of 120 until its capture by the French in the Battle of Diamond Rock in 1805.

Until the late 19th century, the Royal Navy housed training and other support facilities in hulks — old wooden ships of the line — moored in ports as receiving ships, depot ships, or floating barracks. The Admiralty regarded shore accommodation as expensive and liable to lead to indiscipline. These floating establishments kept their names while the actual vessels housing them changed. For example, the gunnery training school at Portsmouth occupied three ships between its foundation in 1830 and its move ashore in 1891 but all were named (or renamed) HMS Excellent.

As ships began to use increasingly complex technology during the late 19th century, these facilities became too large to continue afloat and were moved to shore establishments while keeping their names. An early "stone frigate" was the engineering training college HMS Marlborough, moved ashore to Portsmouth in 1880. The gunnery school continued to be named HMS Excellent after its move ashore to Whale Island in 1891. By World War I there were about 25 "stone frigates" in the United Kingdom.

The practice continues in the Royal Navy and some other navies of the Commonwealth of Nations, including the Canadian Navy, the Royal Australian Navy, and the Royal New Zealand Navy.

Examples

HMCS Stone Frigate, located at Royal Military College of Canada in Kingston, Ontario, was constructed during 1820 to store part of the dismantled British fleet from the War of 1812 which had been dismantled pursuant to the Rush-Bagot Treaty of 1817. [1] The former warehouse was converted into a dormitory and classrooms when the college was established in 1876. [2] [3] Renovations to the Stone Frigate began in the summer of 2003. Interior stone walls were restored and cleaned and new structural supports and interior walls were constructed. Windows, doors, and mechanical and electrical services were installed and an annex extension was built. The Department of National Defence officially re-opened the renovated Stone Frigate building in early April 2004. The Stone Frigate is on the Registry of Historic Places of Canada [4]

See also

References

  1. ^ Gilbert Collins Guidebook to the Historic Sites of the War of 1812 p. 201
  2. ^ The Stone Frigate, 1914 by Royal Military College of Canada. Published in 1997, British Whig (Kingston, Ont)
  3. ^ Stone Frigate Ontario Plaque http://www.ontarioplaques.com/Plaques_DEF/Plaque_Frontenac18.html
  4. ^ http://www.historicplaces.ca/visit-visite/affichage-display.aspx?id=4388 Stone Frigate Registry of Historic Places of Canada
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