From the general appearance of a merchant ship and from the number and arrangement of decks, it is often possible to tell the nature of the trade on which she is employed or for which she was built. Thus deck arrangement forms a suitable key for the classification of merchant ships.
Many famous warships of the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries were built at Buckler’s Hard, on the Beaulieu River, Hampshire, a place conveniently situated near the stout oaks of the New Forest. It is hard to credit that the peaceful village of Buckler’s Hard was once renowned as a shipbuilding centre. Yet it was so, and many of the “wooden walls” were built there, including the Pandora, famous in connexion with the story of the Bounty, and the Agamemnon, the Euryalus, and the Swiftsure, which were at Trafalgar.