Saturday 10 December 2011

Build the Lenox!

This week, the Deptford Is... team produced a brochure to introduce The Lenox Project to maritime enthusiasts and potential supporters. Click here to download the four-page document.

The Lenox Project aims to build a replica 17th century warship in the restored dockyard at Convoys Wharf. The project would reconnect Deptford with its maritime heritage, creating jobs and apprenticeships with modern, transferable skills. The Lenox was the first of King Charles II's great Thirty Ship building programme of 1677. Her construction and that of her sister ships was the responsibility of Samuel Pepys, famous diarist and Secretary of the Admiralty, and is extensively recorded in official records and artworks of the period. Thanks to painstaking research by marine historian and author, Richard Endsor – whose book The Restoration Warship covers the history of the Lenox in minute detail – it is possible to construct an exact replica.

There are already successful replica ship building projects across Europe, the most spectacular of which is the Hermione project at Rochefort on the west coast of France. The local mayor claims the project has turned around the fortunes of his town, boosting local pride and creating jobs. This summer the Hermione welcomed its three millionth visitor and currently opens its doors to 250,000 tourists each year.

Such a precedent indicates that the Lenox project could be equally successful, attracting tourism, forging links with the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, and inspiring the local community. It could form the dramatic centrepiece of a Maritime Enterprise Zone on Convoys Wharf, attracting cutting edge and traditional marine industry to the area.

For more information on how to donate to or get involved in the realisation of this project, please contact Julian Kingston at

Illustration: King Charles II attending the launch of Lenox. Painting by Richard Endsor

See also our previous post Alternative vision is launched.

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