Crow’s Nest

The crow’s nest was invented by William Scoresby senior. It was first used in 1807. It was constructed from wood and canvas and entered via a small trap door in the bottom. There were racks inside for a telescope, speaking trumpet and signal flags.

Captain Scoresby’s instructions were followed in the making of our life size model. Look closely at our model ships and you will see the tiny crow’s nest atop the main mast.

The master or mate would sit in the crow’s nest at the top of the main mast, sometimes for hours on end on the lookout for whales and guiding the ship through the ice.

William Scoresby senior was born in 1760 and grew up on a small farm near Pickering, he was an agricultural labourer before going to sea. He joined the crew of the Henrietta in 1785, rising through the ranks to become captain in 1791. In 1806 he broke the record for sailing furthest north, with his son William junior as chief mate. He retired from whaling in 1823.