The Stirling Castle Virtual Tour

Client – Douglas McElvogue (TrenDive)

Sponser – Historic Scotland and Shetland Museums

CGI – Grant Cox (ArtasMedia)

Software – 3DS Max/Vray/Photoshop/CloudTour

Explore the Virtual Tour here!

The Stirling Castle was built as one of the 20 Third Rate ships of Samuel Pepys’s Great Ship Building Programme of 1679. Pepys is famous for writing his personal diaries between 1660 and 1669. He was also known as Charles II’s great naval administrator. In 1677 Pepys argued in Parliament to build 30 new ships. The ships were to be built to a new standard design, incorporating the lessons learnt from the last 3 Dutch wars. Considered by Pepys “…the best ships that had ever been built in England…”, the 70 gun Third Rate ships were to remain virtually unchanged until the capture of a French 74 gun Invincible in 1747. The Stirling Castle was built at Deptford Dockyard by the shipwright John Shish and launched in 1679. As a Third Rate ship the Stirling Castle was a naval vessel with two full length gun decks of cannons, with a total of 70 cannons on board.

In November 1703 the Stirling Castle was lying in the Downs off the Kent coast with the rest of the Navy and a fleet of merchantmen, when a storm hit southern England. Daniel Defoe, the author of Robinson Crusoe, described the storm as “…a tempest that destroyed woods and forests all over England”. Overnight the ships anchors that could not hold were either driven over the sands or wrecked upon them. Thomas Warren the stores man at Deal Dockyard wrote to the Navy Board describing the scene. By the morning “… when it was light we could see five sail, two of them pretty big ships; one of them I am afraid was a man of war.

Having survived the initial storm and the wreck, the survivors on board had to wait until the storm passed before being rescued. Thomas Warren gave another account, that the ship that he thought was a man of war was actually the Stirling Castle. Of the crew onboard the Stirling Castle and the sailors and marines, only 70 survived.