Cutty Sark at the National Maritime Museum

The yards and masts of the Cutty Sark, a Royal Museums Greenwich collection.

Client: National Maritime Museum, Royal Museums Greenwich

Location: Greenwich, London, England

For all museums preservation and protection of their collections can be a challenge. The Royal Museums Greenwich invites the public to come onboard one of the key objects in their collection - the Cutty Sark, which presents its own set of challenges.

A particularly significant element of the Cutty Sark is on display adjacent to the ship itself, the Rock Elm Plank. Replaced by steels during restoration of the ship, the fragile rock elm plank no longer forms a structural part of the ship.

As a reminder of the history of the ship, and to highlight the conservation works done, the rock elm plank is displayed for visitors to see; however up until 2019 it did not have any form of protection between it and visitors, which presented a challenge.


The Product Solution:

In order to protect the 21m long plank a custom solution was created for Royal Museums Greenwich. The team at RMG already use our Q Barrier system, and so an adapted version of this barrier, with a rigid rail component incorporated into it, provided the secure and robust solution they were looking for.

Our team visited RMG in December 2019 to install the new barrier system, which you can see in-situ below.

The exterior of the Cutty Sark, Royal Museums Greenwich, London, UK.

Image Source: RMG Website

The Cutty Sark’s Rock Elm Plank, Royal Museums Greenwich, London, UK.
The Cutty Sark’s Rock Elm Plank protected by Absolute Q Feestanding Barriers, Royal Museums Greenwich, London, UK.
Close-up, showing the Absolute Q Freestanding Barriers protecting the Cutty Sark’s Rock Elm Plank, Royal Museums Greenwich, London, UK.

As featured

The bespoke solution we created for Royal Museums Greenwich was an adaptation of our Freestanding Q Barrier, as shown below.

Q Barrier Freestanding

The Original Q Barrier before adapting to add a horizontal rigid rail component.


Q Barrier Freestanding

The Q Barrier used in its standard application, in conjunction with elasticated cord.


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Learn more about the Cutty Sark and this project

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Discover more about Royal Museums Greenwich here:

Image sources: Image One - Unsplash, Image two - RMG Website. All others taken by the Absolute Products team.