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PELORUS 3 class cruisers (11, 1897 - 1901)


  Pyramus 1900 Many thanks to Wolfgang Stöhr for additional information on this page.  


Name No Yard No Builder Laid down Launched Comp Fate
Proserpine N84   Sheerness DYd 3.1896 5.12.1896 1899 sold for BU 11.1919
Pelorus     Sheerness DYd 5.1895 15.12.1896 3.1897 depot ship 1916
Pactolus   657 Armstrong, Elswick 5.1896 21.12.1896 9.1898 submarine depot ship 9.1912
Pegasus   718 Palmers, Jarrow 16.5.1896 4.3.1897 8.1898 sunk 20.9.1914
Pyramus   719 Palmers, Jarrow 15.5.1896 15.5.1897 1900 sold for BU 1.1920
Perseus   411 Earle, Hull 25.5.1896 15.7.1897 3.1901 sold 1914
Pomone     Sheerness DYd 21.12.1896 25.11.1897 5.1899 training hulk 1.1910
Psyche (7/1915- RAN)     Devonport DYd 11/1897 19.7.1898 1900 sold for BU 6.1922
Prometheus   412 Earle, Hull 1897 20.10.1898 6.1899 sold for BU 5.1914
Pioneer (12/1912- RAN)     Chatham DYd 16.12.1897 28.6.1899 11/1900 hulk 1924
Pandora     Portsmouth DYd 3.1.1898 17.1.1900 11.1901 sold for BU 7.1913

Technical data

Displacement normal, t 
Displacement full, t

2135 - 2200

Length, m

91.4 pp 95.6 oa

Breadth, m


Draught, m


No of shafts



Pandora, Perseus, Pioneer, Prometheus, Proserpine, Psyche: 2 3-cyl. VTE, 16 Thornycroft boilers

Pelorus: 2 3-cyl. VTE, 16 Normand boilers

Pegasus, Pyramus: 2 3-cyl. VTE, 16 Reed boilers

Pactolus, Pomone: 2 3-cyl. VTE, 16 Blechynden boilers

Power, h. p.


Max speed, kts


Fuel, t

coal 500

Endurance, nm(kts)5500(10)
Armour, mm

steel; deck: 51 - 38, gun shields: 6, CT: 76


8 x 1 - 102/40 QF Mk I/III, 8 x 1 - 47/40 3pdr Hotchkiss Mk I, 3 х 1 - 7.7/94, 2 - 450 TT (beam, aw)



Standard scale images

<i>Pioneer</i> 1896
Pioneer 1896


  <i>Pyramus</i> 1900 <i>Many thanks to Wolfgang Stöhr for additional information on this page.</i>  
  Pyramus 1900 Many thanks to Wolfgang Stöhr for additional information on this page.  

Project history

The Pelorus class were very similar in appearance and general arrangement to the earlier Pearl class but were slightly smaller, with a lighter armament, and demonstrated a different approach to the problem of obtaining high speed. They had more powerful machinery that the the earlier class with a natural draught power of 5000ihp compared with 4000ihp, but forced draught power was restricted to a realistic 7000ihp which was 500ihp less than that in Pearl and her sisters. In order, therefore, to provide for the high designed speed of 20kts they were made longer and narrower than the Pearls, with a length to beam ratio of 8.2:1 compared with 6.5:1. The narrower beam also meant a reduction in the level of stability and although their lighter armament compensated for this to some extent, they proved to be poor sea boats, having a heavy roll and being very wet in heavy weather.     Apart from the substitution of 102mm QFs for 120mm QFs, the gun armament was identical to that in the Pearl class and was disposed in the same manner.     They were fitted with a variety of boilers to test the qualities of some of the many water tube types available. The results were varied and, while most of the class exceeded their designed power, making between 20 and 21kts on trial, they all suffered from a certain amount of boiler trouble and after a few years' service average maximum speeds were around 16-17kts. The least successful were Pomone and Pactolus, whose Blechynden boilers were so troublesome that the ships were removed from the effective list after only a few years' service.

Ship protection

Main deck has 38-32mm flat part and 51-44mm slopes. Thicker part was over machinery.



Naval service

Pegasus was sunk in action with German cruiser Königsberg at Zanzibar. 

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