British Gun Vessels of 1875 Part II The Larger Single-screw Type
In 1875 4 single screw British gunvessels were still building, the Condor and Flamingo at Devonport and the Griffon and Falcon in Lairds’ yard, Birkenhead. Composite built, barque rigged and 157 ft. in length, they were larger than the existing wooden Plover class, but intended to mount similar armament, which varied during service between breechloaders and muzzleloaders. These ships between them saw service in the Mediterranean, the Black Sea, the Americas, the East Indies and the Persian Gulf. Condor achieved distinction under Lord Charles Beresford in the bombardment of Alexandria in 1882. Three of these mid-Victorian ships survived as harbour hulks to witness the Great War. Flamingo was still in use as a floating hospital at Plymouth in 1940. Three more ships of the Condor design were built after 1875. They were the last barque-rigged gunvessels, none of those that came after carrying square sails on the mainmast.