HMS 'Arrow', 1871.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Model. In the 18th and 19th centuries, small shallow draught vesels were specially designed to carry one or two large guns. They were intended to work in coastal waters or river estuaries and were used principally to attack the enemy's shore batteries or to supplement their own shore batteries in defensive action. The gunboat 'Arrow' was built at Greenwich, was 85 ft long and was armed with a 10-inch muzzle-loading gun weighing 18 tons. Between 1870 and 1873 19 other gunboats of this clas were built.