Castle class Corvettes
Castle class Corvettes
Name Pennants Completed
pre-1948 post-1948
Bamborough Castle K412 F412 Jan. 1944
Allington Castle K689 F689 Feb. 1944
Alnwick Castle K405 F105 May 1944
Amberley Castle K386 F286 Nov. 1943
Hadleigh Castle K355 F355 Jun. 1943
Portchester Castle K362 F362 Jun. 1943
Ruthven Castle K372 F372 Jul. 1943
Carisbrooke Castle K379 F379 Jul. 1943
Flint Castle K383 F383 Sep. 1943
Leeds Castle K384 F384 Oct. 1943
Hedingham Castle K529 F386 Oct. 1944
Berkeley Castle K387 F387 Aug. 1943
Dumbarton Castle K388 F388 Sep. 1943
Knaresborough Castle K389 F389 Sep. 1943
Launceston Castle K397 F397 Nov. 1943
Tintagel Castle K399 F399 Dec. 1943
Farnham Castle K413 F413 Apr. 1944
Kenilworth Castle K420 F420 Aug. 1943
Pevensey Castle K449 F449 Jan. 1944
Oakham Castle K530 F530 Jul. 1944
Caistor Castle K690 F690 May 1944
Lancaster Castle K691 F691 Apr. 1944
Oxford Castle K692 F692 Dec. 1943
Morpeth Castle K693 F693 Nov. 1943
Denbigh Castle K? n/k ?
Hurst Castle K? n/k ?
Shrewsbury Castle K? n/k ?


Empire class Rescue Escorts
Name Pennant Completed Broken up
Empire Shelter K694 Oct. 1944 Jul. 1955
Empire Rest K695 Jun. 1944 Jun. 1952
Empire Lifeguard K443 Jun. 1944 Jul. 1955
Empire Peacemaker K536 Sep. 1944 Jun. 1955
Empire Comfort K537 Sep. 1944 Jun. 1955

This design was prepared at the same time as the "Loch" class frigates for builders who could not accomodate the longer frigate hull, and also to utilise any spare, short slip that was available. Although pre-fabricated construction was considered, it better suited the builders to stick with traditional building methods, to bring the class "on stream" as quickly as possible, without setting up an infrastructure for pre-fabricating.
The design was basically a larger "Flower" class, and although only 35' longer, this was enough to greatly improve sea-keeping and accomodation levels. Armament was along "improved Flower" lines except that a 12" "Squid" mortar replaced the "Hedgehog" launcher, and there was provision for four extra 20mm AA - although these were rarely fitted. The armament was arranged as that of the "Loch" class was, with the "Squid" replacing the 4" gun on the shelter deck, the 4" being moved ahead of this, emphasising the move from gun to "squid" as the main armament. A lattice mast abaft the bridge carried surface warning radar ( SW.RDF ) and HF/DF gear.
Although the same machinery as the "Flower" class was installed, there was no loss in speed due to longer keel and weight reduction measures.
Despite being a great improvement over the "Flower", they couldn't match the new Frigates that were becoming available in large numbers, and in 1943, production was cut back to place all emphasis on Frigates.
The five "Empire" class rescue escorts were provided to quickly rescue the crews of sinking ships, and as such they were re-armed for AA defence only, and had extra lifeboats aft. The crew normally associated with the weapons were replaced by lifeboat crews, and more accomodation was provided. A larger and better staffed sick-bay was also incorporated into the design. They were manned by the Merchant Navy.

Dimensions & Displacements
Length 252' Beam 36.5' Draught 13.5' max
Full Displacement 1590 tons Standard Displacement 1060 tons


Performance & Propulsion
Speed 16.5 knots Range 9500 miles @ 10 knots
Machinery 2 x Admirality 3-drum boilers,1 x triple-expansion reciprocating engine driving 1 shaft @ 2750 ihp


Armament & Complement
Complement 120 officers & ratings
Castle class
  • Gun
    • 1 x 1 x 4" LA
    • 2 x 2 x 20mm Oerlikon AA
    • up to 6 x 1 x 20mm Oerlikon AA ( normally 2 )
  • ASW
    • 1 x 3 x 12" Squid A/S mortar
    • Depth-Charge lobbers and rails
Empire class
  • Gun
    • 2 x 1 x 3" 12pdr AA
    • 4 x 1 x 20mm Oerlikon AA


Fate Ships
Broken up 1956
  • Berkeley Castle
  • Caistor Castle
  • Knaresborough Castle
Broken up 1958
  • Allington Castle
  • Alnwick Castle
  • Portchester Castle
  • Carisbrooke Castle
  • Flint Castle
  • Leeds Castle
  • Hedingham Castle
  • Tintagel Castle
Broken up 1959
  • Bamborough Castle
  • Hadleigh Castle
  • Launceston Castle
  • Kenilworth Castle
Broken up 1960
  • Farnham Castle
  • Lancaster Castle
  • Oxford Castle
  • Morpeth Castle
Broken up 1961
  • Dumbarton Castle
To Air Ministry, 1958~1960
  • Amberley Castle, as survey ship Weather Adviser. As Admiral Fitzroy 1976
  • Ruthven Castle, as survey ship Weather Surveyor. Broken up 1983
  • Pevensey Castle, as survey ship Weather Monito. Later, Admiral Beaufort
  • Oakham Castle, as survey ship Weather Reporter. To mercantile, 1977
War Losses
  • Denbigh Castle
  • Hurst Castle
  • Shrewsbury Castle, in Free Norwegian hands
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