Hampshire & Isle of Wight

USS Chesapeake remembered at Chesapeake Mill in Wickham

HMS Shannon and the USS Chesapeake in Massachusetts Bay in 1813 Image copyright Chesapeake Mill Museum
Image caption The US and British vessels came to bloody blows during the War of 1812

An antiques centre in Hampshire made of timber from a US warship captured 200 years ago has been adorned with a plaque to remember those who died.

HMS Shannon defeated USS Chesapeake off Boston on 1 June 1813 as part of a war between the United States and the British Empire.

Wickham's Chesapeake Mill plaque lists the 74 men who perished in the battle.

Naval expert John Wayne said the names should remind people of the "futility of a war between cousins".

Mr Wayne, who is from the Britannia Naval Research Association, added: "It's a commemoration. People haven't acknowledged this very interesting three-year-period, this almost forgotten war.

"And this was the bloodiest single frigate action in naval history. It was in danger of passing without comment and we felt it should be underlined."

Cannonball damage

Image caption The plaque lists the 74 men who perished

After the short 15-minute battle between HMS Shannon and USS Chesapeake in Massachusetts Bay in 1813, the US frigate was made into a British ship.

It left service in 1819 and a year later the timbers were sold from Portsea in Portsmouth.

They were used to build Chesapeake Mill which operated until 1991. Some beams and posts still show the damage from cannonballs and musket-shot.

The building was later converted into an antiques centre and cafe.

Manager Sandy Taylor said: "This building is prestigious and unique in the fact that it was made from timber from the USS Chesapeake.

"We get a lot of Americans who like to touch it and take photographs and it's a really good thing that it's being marked with the plaque."

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