Model of Norfolk Wherry

Made:
1851-1920

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Model of Norfolk Wherry, scale 1:16. From a colour transparency in the Science Museum Photographic Archive.
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Model of Norfolk Wherry, Norfolk Broads, United Kingdom. Made for the museum by Mr W.H. Hall. The Norfolk wherry was a small cargo carrier which was developed to suit the special conditions of the Broads district of East Anglia. The wherries came into use towards the end of the 18th century and replaced the earlier Norfolk keels. Scale 1:16, late 19th century

The Norfolk wherry was a small cargo-carrier which was developed to suit the special conditions of the Broads district of East Anglia, where the shallow navigable waterways have in the past been nearly as much used for the transport of goods as they are now used for pleasure cruising.

The wherries came into use towards the end of the 18th century and replaced the earlier Norfolk keels - open lighters built with a transom stern and provided with a single square-sail only.

The hull of the wherry was the clincher-built, and comparatively fine at both bow and stern, which were almost exactly similar. A large hatch extended from the mast step nearly to the stern. The heavy mast was unsupported by lateral stays but was stepped in a very strongly constructed tabernacle, at the top of which it pivoted so that it could be lowered to allow the wherry to pass under bridges. A single large gaff-sail was carried, which, with the help of a windlass mounted just forward of the mast, could be hoisted by one man.

The normal crew of a wherry consisted of two men. In calms, or when wind conditions were contrary these men poled the wherry along by means of the quants, seen on the hatch cover.

The model represents a wherry 55ft long with a breadth of 16ft 6ins and a depth of 3ft 3ins.

Details

Category:
Water Transport
Object Number:
1927-822
Materials:
brass (copper, zinc alloy), canvas, cotton (fibre), metal (unknown), paint, plaster, silk and wood (unidentified)
type:
wherry
taxonomy:
  • furnishing and equipment
  • vehicle - transportation
  • furnishing and equipment
  • vehicle - transportation
  • watercraft
  • visual and verbal communication
credit:
Hall, W.H.

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