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The City of Adelaide/Carrick

The SV Carrick is an A-listed ship, held on dry land near the Scottish Maritime Museum in Irvine. Various options for its future have been put forward as it can not remain where it is.

Fiona Hyslop, Minister for Culture and External Affairs announced on 28th August the decision which may finally secure the future of the SV City of Adelaide and establish new cultural links with Australia.

View media release: Culture Minister announces plan to save City of Adelaide/Carrick with Australian bidder

On March 5, Culture Minister Fiona Hyslop outlined the options being considered. These are:
  • Removal to Sunderland;
  • Removal to Adelaide in South Australia;
  • Retention in an a different location in Scotland; and
  • Managed Deconstruction of the vessel.


The 176ft passenger and cargo vessel, originally known as the City of Adelaide, was built in Sunderland in 1864. Apart from the Cutty Sark, it is the only surviving clipper ship in the world. The National Historic Ships Committee (UK) included it in its as one of the most significant vessels on its list of around 200 ships of the National Historic Fleet.

In 1893 the City of Adelaide was converted to a hospital ship at Southampton; in 1924 converted to a training ship at Irvine and renamed the HMS Carrick; it was moored at Greenock until 1950 and then in Glasgow at Custom House Quay when it was used as a clubhouse for the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve (RNVR). Historic Scotland took the unusual step of listing the Carrick at category A in 1990. The following year the vessel sank in Princes Dock, Glasgow, and lay at the bottom of the River Clyde for a year before it was raised by the Scottish Maritime Museum (SMM) and moved to Irvine.

The Carrick was repaired and opened to the public in 1995. However, problems with funding arose and SMM applied for consent to demolish the vessel in May 2000 but was refused consent by North Ayrshire Council.

In 2006 SMM again applied for consent to deconstruct the vessel for storage and eventual re-display. Discussions on the reasons for deconstruction and the methodology to be used took place between HS, North Ayrshire Council (NAC), SMM and National Historic Ships (NHS), the national body set up by the Department of Culture Media and Sport to advise government on matters relating to historic vessels.

On the basis of these discussions, the application was cleared back to NAC in April 2007 for deconstruction to proceed, subject to the conditions agreed by Historic Scotland and NHS and issued by NAC.

The vessel sits on a slipway which its owners, Ayrshire Metals, wish to redevelop. There have been expressions of interest from the private sector in ‘saving’ the vessel and moving it to new sites, including groups from Sunderland and Australia.

Minister's full statement

Read the Minister's full statement

Final Report

PDF icon Options Appraisal – The City of Adelaide [PDF, 764kb]

Urquhart Castle

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