S.S. Great Britain
The S.S. Great Britain was the very first ship of her kind - designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel, she was the first ship to combine being built of iron, with the added benefit of screw propellers, which was an incredibly advanced design for the time. She was also not only the world's longest passenger ship for 9 years (1845-1854), but was also the first iron steamer to cross the Atlantic Ocean - a journey that she completed in 14 days in 1845.
While being an undeniable beauty and a great achievement, the cost of construction of the S.S. Great Britain left its owners in such a dire financial state that they were sadly forced to abandon her when she was stranded due to a navigational mistake in 1846.
She was later sold for salvage, and all damage was repaired, upon which, in 1881, she became the vessel that transported thousands of immigrants and slaves over to Australia. Just three years after that, the once proud S.S. Great Britain was being used as a storage warehouse and coal hulk in the Falkland Islands, which was her occupation for the next 53 years, until she was deliberatley sunk (or 'scuttled') in 1937.
However, this was certainly not the end of her, for in 1970, her body was brought back up from the ocean floor and returned to the very dock in Bristol where she had been built. These days, she is an award-winning museum attraction, where visitors can view the luxury cabins of First Class passengers of days gone by, admire the worlds oldest iron hull, and learn the detailed and interesting life of the S.S. Great Britain, from her first launch right through to her return home.
Around 170,000 people visit the S.S. Great Britain every year, and entry costs £12.95 for adults and £6.75 for children.