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LONDON 1 class battleships (5, 1902 - 1904)


Venerable after 1909




Yard No


Laid down




London 70, 81, N41   Portsmouth DYd 8.12.1898 21.9.1899 6.1902 minelayer 1.1918, reserve depot 1919, sold for BU 6.1920
Bulwark 95   Devonport DYd 20.3.1899 18.10.1899 3.1902 internal explosion 26.11.1914
Venerable 96, A8, N36   Chatham DYd 2.1.1899 2.11.1899 11.1902 harbour service 1918, sold for BU 6.1920
Queen 82, 96   Devonport DYd 12.3.1901 8.3.1902 3.1904 partly disarmed 1918, sold for BU 9.1920
Prince of Wales 81, 94, N46   Chatham DYd 20.3.1901 25.3.1902 3.1904 harbour service early 1918, sold for BU 4.1920

Technical data

Displacement normal, t

London, Bulwark, Venerable: 14500

Queen, Prince of Wales: 14150

Displacement full, t

London, Bulwark, Venerable: 15700

Queen, Prince of Wales: 15400

Length, m

121.9 pp 131.6 oa

Breadth, m


Draught, m


No of shafts



London, Bulwark, Venerable, Prince of Wales: 2 3-cyl VTE, 20 Belleville boilers

Queen: 2 3-cyl VTE, 20 Babcock & Wilcox boilers

Power, h. p.


Max speed, kts


Fuel, t

coal 2200

Endurance, nm(kts)


Armour, mm

belt: 229, bulkheads: 305 - 229, gun houses: 254 - 203, barbettes: 305, casemates: 152, decks: 64 - 25, CT: 356


2 x 2 - 305/40 BL Mk IX, 12 x 1 - 152/45 BL Mk VII, 16 x 1 - 76/40 12pdr 12cwt QF Mk I, 6 x 1 - 47/40 3pdr Hotchkiss Mk I, 4 - 450 TT (beam)




<i>Venerable</i> after 1909
Venerable after 1909
<i>London </i>1918 as minelayer
London 1918 as minelayer

Project history

The first 3 ships of London class were built under the 1898-99 Estimates and the last 2 under the 1900-01 Estimates. They were repeats of Formidable class except for some modifications to protection. Queen and Prince of Wakes differed from the others in having open 76mm gun batteries amidships on the upper deck. The designed displacement was 15000t.

Ship protection

The armour layout was similar to Canopus, except thet the belt continued to the stern as well to the bow. The belt was 229mm Krupp, 76.3m long (additional 9.8m were at fwd end of the belt) by 4.6m deep, and continued to the stem reducing in thickness from 178mm, 127mm and 76mm to 51mm at the stem 3.7m deep, and to the stern as a 38mm belt 2.4m deep. The fwd armour bulkhead was omitted in favour of a stronger fwd belt. The barbettes reduced to 152mm behind the belt, whilst the gun houses were of Krupp steel with 254mm sides and 203mm backs. Decks were as Formidable except the middle deck, which was reduced to 25mm on the flat and 51mm on the slopes; lower deck aft was 64mm but lower deck fwd was reduced to 25mm. In addition the main deck was increased to 51mm and continued to the stem, reducing to 38mm at the fwd end.

Modernizations 1.

1918, London: guns were removed from a fwd turret, the aft turret was replaced by 152mm gun, entire main deck aft was converted to a mine deck with mine rails; - 2 x 2 - 305/40, + 1 x 1 - 152/45 BL Mk VII, 240 mines

1918, Queen: - 2 x 2 - 305/40

Naval service

Bulwark 26.11.1914 while loading ammunition at Sheerness was destroyed by an internal explosion, probably caused by careless handling of black powder charges on the upper deck. Only 12 men survived. London in 1912 was used in experiments with seaplanes, during these trials seaplanes took off from a ramp over the forecastle. In 1.1918 she joined 1st Minelaying Squadron as minelayer but in 1919 she was a reserve depot. Venerable  was reduced to harbour service early in 1918 until paid off in 1919. Prince of Wales early in 1918 was also reduced to harbour service. Queen was used at Taranto as a base ship since 1915 until 1918, but before she returned home her main guns were removed and transferred to the Italian Navy.