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Manipur: Atlantic

Anchor (18th Century), Steamship (20th Century)

Site Name Manipur: Atlantic

Classification Anchor (18th Century), Steamship (20th Century)

Alternative Name(s) Cape Wrath; North Minch; Manipur (Probably)

Canmore ID 101894

Site Number NC18SW 8003

NGR NC 14812 82176

NGR Description (219096, 959958 August 2013)

Datum WGS84 - Lat/Long


Ordnance Survey licence number AC0000807262. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council Highland
  • Parish Maritime - Highland
  • Former Region Highland
  • Former District Maritime
  • Former County Not Applicable

Archaeology Notes

NC18SW 8003 1482 8218

N58 41.28 W5 11.71

NLO: Cape Wrath [name: NC 256 750].

Formerly entered as NC18SW 8399.

Quality of fix = HF6

Evidence = Echo sounder

Horizontal Datum = OGB

General water depth = 68

Orientation of keel/wreck = ENE/WSW

Circumstances of Loss Details


The steamship MANIPUR was built 1920. She was torpedoed and sunk by German submarine U57, whilst en-route from Baltimore/Halifax to London in convoy HX.55a. She was owned at the time of loss by T & J Brocklebank.

Sources: Dictionary of Disasters at Sea, World War II Shipping Loses, Axis Submarine Successes.

Surveying Details


10 January 1940. The wreck's position is given as 58 41 00N, 005 14 00W. It is also given as 6 miles NW of Cape Wrath.

23 Decemer 1971. A salvage contract has been taken by Risdon Beazley Ulrick Harms. Some recoveries were made.

Report by Department of Trade and Industry, November 1971.

7 December 1976. The wreck is a cargo vessel, lying in 2 parts. It was located at decca [n scot] red b 8.70, green a 37.19, purple d 65.35. Report by Risdon Beazley, 27 October 1976 - the wreck was first located in 1956-57.

Note: this plots to 58 41 23N, 005 11 52W.

10 May 1984. The position was investigated on 23 September 1983. Nothing was found except a 1 point contact, possibly debris, standing 1 metre high at 58 41 02N, 005 14 04W. A large well broken up wreck was located at 58 41 17N, 005 11 43W using west Orkney hyperfix patts 2-1, 6-4, 5-1, giving NGR eastings 214825, and northings 982170. The least echosounder depth was 60 in a general depth of 68 metres. No scouring was observed. The side scan sonar indicated a height of 8 metres, length 200 metres (656 feet), and width of 40 metres (131 feet). The vessel is lying with its keel orientated 068/247 degrees.

Report by Racal Survey.

4 July 1986. Salvage operations are taking place at a position bearing 301 degrees, 7.2 miles from Cape Wrath. The site is marked by 4 x 1.2 diameter soft orange foam buoys.

Report by Kilburns Salvage Company Ltd, 19 June 1986.

Hydrographic Office, 1995.

(Classified as steel steamship, with general cargo: date of loss cited as 17 July 1940). Manipur: this vessel was torpedoed 6 miles NW of Cape Wrath, bu U-57 at German position AM3662.

Registration: Liverpool. Built 1920. 8652grt. Length: 142m. Beam: 19m.

(Location of loss cited as N58 41.25 W5 12.0).

I G Whittaker 1998.

The equation of this wreck with that of the Manipur remains apparently unverified, but is accepted.

Information from RCAHMS (RJCM), 13 June 2008.


Reference (2011)

Whittaker ID : 1185


Latitude : 584115

Longitude : 51200

Date Built : 1920

Registration : LIVERPOOL

Type : SS (STEEL)

Tonnage : 8652

Tonnage Code : G

Length : 142

Beam : 19

Draught : 12m

Position : Position Approximate

Loss Day : 17

Loss Month : 7

Loss Year : 1940

Comment : Torped 6 miles NW of Cape Wrath by U57 at German pos AM3662


Reference (19 April 2012)

UKHO Identifier : 000817

Feature Class : Wreck

Wreck Category : Non-dangerous wreck

State : LIVE

Classification : Unclassified

Position (Lat/long) : 58.68803,-5.19554


WGS84 Position (Lat/long) : 58.68760,-5.19683

WGS84 Origin : Original

Previous Position : 58.68805,-5.19528

Position Method : Differential Global Positioning System

Position Quality : Surveyed

Position Accuracy : 3.0

Depth : 57.0

Depth Method : Found by multi-beam

Depth Quality : Least depth known

Water Depth : 66

Water Level Effect : Always under water/submerged

Vertical Datum : Lowest Astronomical Tide


Type : SS


Length : 144.2

Beam : 19.5

Draught : 11.3

Sonar Length : 157.0

Sonar Width : 40.0

Shadow Height : 8.9

Orientation : 90.0

Tonnage : 8652

Tonnage Type : Gross


Date Sunk : 17/07/1940

Bottom Texture : Shells

Magnetic Anomaly : Strong

Sonar Signal Strength : Moderate

Scour Depth : 0.5

Field Visit (April 2013)

An anchor was accidentally recovered in the mid-1990s during dredging by the Sparkling Star, a Kinlochbervie-based fishing boat. The anchor was recovered near the wreck of the Manipur, a well-known local wreck and fishing spot known by locals as the copper wreck. However, the Manipur is a much more recent wreck (sunk in 1940) and is clearly unrelated to this anchor, although the anchor was reportedly dredged from a location immediately adjacent to the Manipur. The findspot is very isolated and without navigational hazards so it seems to be entirely coincidental that wreck material of two very different dates should be recovered in such close proximity.

The anchor now lies in the garden of a house at Balchrick. It was spotted at this location by a recreational diver, Derek Dillon, who reported it to Wessex Archaeology marine archaeologists who subsequently called to his home to discuss another site in Loch Laxford. A field visit was undertaken as part of the outreach phase of Project SAMPHIRE in May 2013. During the subsequent fieldwork phase in August of 2013 the SAMPHIRE team called to the house in Balchrick where the anchor is now kept and spoke to the current owner, Hywell Davies. The anchor was initially landed on the pier at Kinlochbervie and was then transported to Balchrick in a coal lorry.

Mr Davies passed on copies of correspondence with the National Maritime Museum, dated 16th April 1997. The museum described the anchor as an Old Admiralty Longshanks Anchor of a type in use until the early 18th century. The letter states that this type of anchor:

'held well but weakness at the junction of the arms and shank resulted in breakage there, the drop hammer used in welding often failed to expel air bubbles. As a result a number of anchors were returned to Admiralty Dockyards for repairs during the period… It is unfortunately not possible to relate an anchor to particular ship or manufacturer - as well as the Admiralty Dockyards a number of small forges produced anchors'.

A full set of measurements were made on the anchor by SAMPHIRE archaeologists and a photogrammetric survey was carried out. The photogrammetric survey revealed a slight curve to the shank of the anchor and also highlighted damage to one of the flukes, one side of which had been bent inwards. It is not known whether this damage occurred before or during recovery by the dredger. No attempt to conserve or paint the anchor had been made at the time of the survey and it appeared to be in a state of slow decay.

Anchor type: Long shank

Period: 16 - 18th century

Certainty: Probable

Length of shank: 3 m

Maximum width at top of shank: 14 cm

Maximum width at bottom of shank: 14 cm

Amplitude of the arms: 1.82 m

Fluke width: 45 cm

Fluke length: 61 cm

Diameter of the ring: 47 cm

Diameter of the eye of the ring: 44 cm

Width or thickness of the ring: 1.5 cm

Project (2013 - 2015)

Project SAMPHIRE was designed to bring professional marine archaeological expertise into local maritime communities. The central focus of the project was to record the unique knowledge of maritime cultural heritage sites on the seabed (and intertidal zone) that is held within local communities. This was done through a programme of face-to-face community engagement, allowing knowledge exchange in both directions. The reported sites were then investigated by the SAMPHIRE Project team with the maximum involvement of local community members at every level, including fieldwork and desk-based research. The project aimed to foster a wider understanding of and interest in local maritime heritage and to promote the stewardship of this valuable local resource.


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