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BARHAM 3 class cruisers (2, 1891)


Name No Yard No Builder Laid down Launched Comp Fate
Barham     Portsmouth DYd 22.10.1888 11.9.1889 7.1891 sold for BU 2.1914
Bellona   290 Hawthorn Leslie, Hebburn-on-Tyne 16.10.1888 29.8.1890 7.1891 sold 7.1906

Technical data

Displacement normal, t


Displacement full, t 
Length, m

85.3 pp

Breadth, m


Draught, m


No of shafts



2 3-cyl VTE, 6 locomotive boilers

Power, h. p.

natural draught: 3600, forced draught: 6000

Max speed, kts

natural draught: 16.5, forced draught: 19.5

Fuel, t

coal 140

Endurance, nm(kts)


Armour, mmsteel; deck: 51-25, gunshields: 51

6 x 1 - 120/40 QF Mk I/II/III/IV, 4 x 1 - 47/40 3pdr Hotchkiss Mk I, 2 x 1 - 11.4/78, 2 - 356 TT (beam, aw)



Standard scale images

<i>Bellona </i>1895
Bellona 1895

Project history

These two ships were high speed versions of the Barracouta class intended for service with the fleet in home waters and the Mediterranean, and were not sheathed. They had the same armament and protection as their half-sisters but were 18.3m longer to accommodate machinery of double the power for a designed speed of 19.5kts. They were fitted with locomotive boilers of a type similar to those fitted in torpedo gunboats, but in order to achieve the designed power it was necessary to specify a very high rate of forcing. This proved to be a mistake as it was soon discovered that the excessive use of forced draught caused major problems with the boilers whose output and efficiency rapidly deteriorated when run at high power. After a number of breakdowns and expensive repairs during their first commissions they were run at natural draught power only and employed mainly as 16kt despatch vessels. During 1898-1899 both vessels were refitted with Thornycroft water tube boilers which gave them a designed power of 4700ihp for a speed of 18kts.     The engine room was placed amidships between the two boiler rooms, which necessitated widely spaced funnels and gave them an ungainly profile. Apart from this, and the fitting of three masts, the upperworks were arranged similarly to those of the Barracouta class. When they were reboilered the rig was reduced to two masts.

Ship protection

Protective deck extended to the full length of the ships, being 25mm on the flat and 51mm on the slope amidships and uniform 25mm at the ends.


1898-1899, both: were reboilered with 6 Thornycroft boilers (4700hp, 18kts)

Naval service

Barham was laid up in January 1905 but recommissioned in January 1909, again in April 1911 and paid off in 1913.

Many thanks to Wolfgang Stöhr for additional information on this page.