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What Does The Future Hold For HMS Unicorn?

Today marks the 200th anniversary of HMS Unicorn, one of Dundee's most beloved landmarks. Situated in Victoria Dock, this ship has been through quite a lot of history.

HMS Unicorn was built in 1824 as a frigate ship. Although not built in Dundee, the city has adopted the ship as it own, after all, she has spent much of her 200-year life in the city.

The now 200-year old ship is looked after by the Unicorn Preservation Society (UPS) which was set up in 1968 to preserve the ship for future generations. The society has campaigned very hard, and in recent years, their hard work has definitely paid off - with the Unicorn being given accredited museum status just last year, and a record amount of donations.

All is going very well, but what does the future hold for this one-of-a-kind ship?

Repair work

Time hasn't played too kindly with the Unicorn, with the ship facing damage through wear-and-tear, as well as storms and snowfall. It is in urgent need of repair.

HMS Unicorn currently sits afloat in Victoria Dock (Picture: Andrew Batchelor / Dundee Culture)

No need to worry however - because the Unicorn is doing something about it, and with thanks donations from the likes of American billionaire John Paul DeJoria, who donated £20,000, and the National Heritage Memorial Fund, who donated a whopping £1.1 million to the ship's preservation works, the UPS are doing their best to get the problems fixed.

HMS Unicorn's repair works are underway, and that will aim to finish ahead of it's next stage...

It's moving into dry dock

Plans set out by the UPS show proposals for the HMS Unicorn to move from its current location, up to the disused East Graving Dock a foot feet away. There, the Unicorn will be placed into dry dock.

The East Graving Dock is essentially a built in dry dock bordering Victoria Dock and Camperdown Dock, and it has long sought been a location that the Unicorn has tried to

A new visitor centre

Alongside this proposal, a new state-of-the-art visitor centre is aiming to be built next to the ship, and the UPS are hoping that it can come to fruition and be opened by the next decade.

With the Eden Project hoping to open up in the old gasworks site not far from the Unicorn, this has the chance for many more visitors to discover the amazing history that the Unicorn has. There is proposals for an 'Eden Bridge' that will connect the forthcoming attraction to the city, with City Quay, and as a result, visitors will have access to the 200-year old ship from the Eden Project site.

The UPS have made clear that some of the proposals may change, time will tell, but the future is bright for the HMS Unicorn - and many are looking forward to see what that future holds.


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