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The Fascinating History of Cutty Sark: Fun Facts for Preschoolers

One of the best activities our preschoolers at our Canada Water nursery undertake is to head down to Greenwich to see the Royal Observatory, Greenwich Palace, and, of course, the Cutty Sark that sits in the dry dock down at Greenwich Pier. Here we discover the fun facts and exciting story of the Cutty Sark, a famous ship from the past, and engage your preschoolers with fun and educational facts about its history.

Setting Sail: The Birth of Cutty Sark

  • The Cutty Sark was built in 1869 in Dumbarton, Scotland.
  • It was designed by Hercules Linton and built by Scott & Linton shipyard.
  • The ship was named after a character from a Scottish poem called 'Tam O'Shanter.'
  • Cutty Sark means 'short shirt' in Scots language.
  • It was one of the last tea clippers to be built and is now the only surviving one.

A Speedy Ship: Cutty Sark's Racing Days

  • Cutty Sark was known for its speed and won many races against other ships.
  • It set a record by sailing from London to Sydney in just 73 days.
  • The ship's sleek design and large sails allowed it to reach high speeds.
  • Cutty Sark was often used to transport goods like tea, wool, and spices.

The Tea Trade: Cutty Sark's Role in History

  • Cutty Sark played a significant role in the tea trade between China and Britain.
  • It transported tea from China to London during the 19th century.
  • The ship's speed and efficiency helped secure its place in the tea trade.
  • Tea was a valuable commodity and Cutty Sark played a part in making it accessible to people in Britain.

Life at Sea: Exploring Cutty Sark's Crew

  • The crew of Cutty Sark consisted of sailors from different countries.
  • They had to work together to navigate the ship and handle its sails.
  • Life at sea was challenging, with long hours and unpredictable weather.
  • The crew had to be skilled in various tasks like rigging, navigation, and maintenance.

Preserving History: Cutty Sark Today

  • Cutty Sark is now preserved as a museum ship in Greenwich, London.
  • Visitors can explore the ship and learn about its history.
  • The ship's original structure and artifacts are on display.
  • Preserving Cutty Sark allows future generations to appreciate its significance in maritime history.