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Archaeology Notes

Event ID 760660

Category Descriptive Accounts

Type Archaeology Notes


HY20NW 8001 2447 0519

N58 55.6667 W3 18.725

NLO: Graemsay [name: HY 270 053]

Hoy Sound [name centred HY 236 072]

Stromness [name: HY 253 090]

Scapa Flow [name centred HY 36 00].

Formerly entered as HY20NW 8692.

For other wrecks in this group, see HY20NW 8002-6 and HY20SW 8001-2.

For plan indicating the relative locations and orientations of blockships in this group, see Macdonald 1990, 108.

Quality of fix = HSA

Horizontal Datum = OGB

General water depth = 9

Circumstances of Loss Details


The RONDA was sunk as a blockship.

Surveying Details


The wreck is reported at 58 55 40N, 003 18 43.5W, lying with its keel on an orientation of 120/300 degrees. The bow is to the SE. The funnel and both masts are visible. A least depth of 0.9 metres was recorded at 58 55 38.5N, 003 18 43.5W.

Report by HMS SCOTT, May 1939.

15 August 1962. The vessel was dispersed using explosives and spread over the seabed.

Report by Bomb and Mine Disposal Officer, Scotland Command.

Hydrographic Office, 1995.

(Classified as steel steamship: no cargo specified, but former name cited as Rydal Holm, and date of loss as 20 August 1915). Ronda: this vessel was scuttled as a blockship in Burra Sound, and dispersed in 1962.

Registration: Hull. Built 1889. 1941grt. Length: 84m. Beam: 11m.

(Location of loss cited as N58 55.67 W3 18.63).

I G Whittaker 1998.

Length: 84m

Beam: 11m

GRT: 1941

Originally the Rydal Holme, Rydal Home or Rydal Holm, this steamship was built in 1889 by J Blumer and Co. at West Hartlepool and registered at Hull. A triple-expansion engine of 196hp and two boilers drove a single screw. The ship was single-decked with a poop and quarterdeck of lengths 29ft (8.8m) and 74ft (22.6m) respectively.

This ship was sunk in 1915 as the most northerly of seven blockships in Burra Sound. The wreck was blown up and dispersed to clear the channel in 1962.

No details of the service or commercial history of the ship are apparently available and there is neither a published photograph nor any available description of the dispersed remains left in situ.

Burra Sound forms a narrow gap between Hoy Skerries (to the SW) and the island of Graemsay. Several wrecks are charted in a general depth of between 5 and 12m; the sound is subject to pronounced tidal flows.

Information from RCAHMS (RJCM), 7 November 2002.

D M Ferguson 1985; G Ridley 1992; R and B Larn 1998; I G Whittaker 1998.

HO chart 35 (1991).

Length: 274 ft (83.6m): date of sinking 20 August 1915.

'Concrete Ballasted. In good condition and likely to last.' (Report dated 26 September 1916 and accompanying panoramic sketch dated 8 December 1915).

The drawing (of Burra Sound, looking S towards Hoy from the Graemsay shore) depicts only the masts and funnel as remaining above water; the vessel is apparently nearly erect.

The accompanying map depicts the vessel as lying with bows towards the SSE, to the W of the centre of the channel (towards the Hoy shore) and to the E of the Urmstone Grange (HY20NW 8004).

Information from RCAHMS (RJCM), 30 January 2004.

PRO [Kew] ADM116/2073A: dated 17 December 1919.

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