Greenwich's famous Cutty Sark is getting a new figurehead, with its iconic 'Nannie' carving being replaced today.

A new carved witch figurehead has today (June 11) been craned into position at the front of the Cutty Sark, the world's last-surviving tea clipper permanently moored on dry line in Greenwich.

Small crowds gathered to witness the rare occurrence, with the new carving attached to the front of the ship, which is currently open for visits.

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Victoria Mottram, press manager at the Royal Museums Greenwich, tweeted out saying there was a "real buzz of excitement in Cutty Sark Gardens. It’s fantastic to see so many people (socially distanced, of course) taking an interest in Nannie."

She later added that the carving was "beautiful" and more classical than the previous Nannie, offering a "fierce gaze" as she was properly attached to the famous ship/museum.

The figurehead on the ship in recent years is a replica made in 1957 - The original figurehead, created by the carver Frederick Hellyer, was damaged in a storm in the late 19th century.

So a new figurehead was commissioned, 'aiming to reflect the beauty of the original ship designs and celebrate the art of ship's carving'.

Figurehead carver Andy Peters was been tasked with bringing the new figurehead to life, with the carving based on a drawing by the Cutty Sark’s original designer and builder, Hercules Linton.

The name 'Nannie' comes from a famous poem by Robert Burns, also inspiring the name of the ship itself.

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The poem tells the story of Tam the farmer, who encounters a group of witches in Alloway Kirk - including the beautiful witch Nannie.

Nannie is scantily clad, dressed only in a ‘cutty sark’ - an archaic Scottish name for a short nightdress. The ship is named after this dress.

In the poem, the witches chase Tam after he calls out to them during a dance. He makes his escape on his horse Meg, but just as he reaches safety Nannie grabs the tail of his horse and pulls it clean off.

This is why Cutty Sark’s figurehead is holding a horse's tail.