Accessibility

Font Size

100% 150% 200%

Background Colour

Default Contrast
Close Reset

Rotherfield: Burra Sound, Scapa Flow, Orkney

Steamship (20th Century)

Site Name Rotherfield: Burra Sound, Scapa Flow, Orkney

Classification Steamship (20th Century)

Alternative Name(s) Rotherfield

Canmore ID 102165

Site Number HY20NW 8002

NGR HY 2465 0513

Datum WGS84 - Lat/Long

Permalink http://canmore.org.uk/site/102165

Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2022.

Toggle Aerial | View on large map

Administrative Areas

  • Council Orkney Islands
  • Parish Maritime - Orkney
  • Former Region Orkney Islands Area
  • Former District Maritime
  • Former County Not Applicable

Archaeology Notes

HY20NW 8002 2468 0514

N58 55.6417 W3 18.5

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 8702.

For other wrecks in this group, see HY20NW 8001 and HY20NW 8003 -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

Evidence = Echo sounder

Horizontal Datum = OGB

General water depth = 4

Orientation of keel/wreck = 190010

Circumstances of Loss Details

-----------------------------

The steamship ROTHERFIELD was sunk as a blockship.

Surveying Details

-----------------------------

The wreck is reported at 58 55 38.5N, 003 18 30W. The bow is sunk leaving the propeller exposed. It is lying almost parallel with shore with the wreckage drying at low water to expose 2.4 metres

Report by HMS FARNKLIN, 15 May 1940.

15 August 1962. The wreck is now shown as isolated obstructions after being blow up and dispersed.

22 July 1988. The ROTHERFIELD was blown up and dispersed in 1962.

Source: The Ships of Scapa Flow.

The wreck is charted as a dangerous wreck, 98 metres (321 feet) long with the least depth of 1.2 metres. It is lying on an orientation of 190/010degs [bows to the SSW], centred on 58 55 38.5N, 003 18 30W.

Hydrographic Office, 1995.

(Classified as steel steamship: no cargo specified, but date of loss cited as 23 September 1914). Rotherfield: this vessel was sunk as a blockship in Burra Sound, and dispersed in 1962.

Registration: London. Built 1889. 2831grt. Length: 98m. Beam: 12m.

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

I G Whittaker 1998.

Length: 98m

Beam: 12m

GRT: 2831

This steamship was built in 1889 by unspecified builders at West Hartlepool. A triple-expansion engine (of unrecorded power) and two boilers probably drove a single screw. She was sunk as a blockship in 1914.

No details of the form, ownership or 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. The wreck was probably blown up and dispersed in 1962.

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.

R and B Larn 1998; I G Whittaker 1998.

HO chart 35 (1991).

Length: 320 ft (97.6m): date of sinking 23 September 1914.

'Unballasted. Has moved slightly. In good condition. Forecastle nearly submerged. Will last a long time.' (Report dated 28 June 1915 and accompanying panoramic sketch dated 8 December 1915).

The accompanying panoramic drawing (of Burra Sound, looking S towards Hoy from the Graemsay shore) depicts what appears to be a flushed-decked cargo ship with a central superstructure: Neither poop nor fo'c'sle are apparent. The vessel is depicted from fine on the starboard quarter and as settling towards the bow, with the forecastle still clear of the water. The masts and funnel remain erect; the rudder is apparently still in place.

The accompanying map depicts the vessel as lying with bows towards the SSW and almost parallel to the shore, very close to Graemsay. It is this the easternmost in the group.

Information from RCAHMS (RJCM), 30 January 2004.

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

Activities

Desk Based Assessment (August 1997)

Throughout the two World Wars Scapa Flow served as the base of the British Home Fleet. Access to these waters was guarded by a series of coastal batteries, booms and blockships. The blockships comprised old and damaged vessels which were deliberately sunk in position so as to form a submarine obstacle to deter enemy incursions. After 1945 some of the blockships were dispersed by explosives to clear the shipping lanes while many others were salvaged for parts and metal. The wrecks of several blockships remain on the sea bed and in the intertidal zone.

(i) [HY20SW 8002] The Gobernador Bories, a 2,332 ton iron steamer, was built in 1882 at West Hartlepool. She was sunk in Burra Sound in 1915. She lies S of Hoy Skerries and is relatively intact.

(ii) [HY20SW 8001] The Ronda was built in 1889 in Sunderland and was sunk in 1914. She was a steel single-screw 1,941 ton steamer. She was dispersed with explosives in 1962.

(iii) [HY20NW 8005] Built in Glasgow in 1882, the 2,252 steel single-screw steamer, Budrie, was sunk in 1915. She was dispersed with explosives in 1962.

(iv) [HY20NW 8003] The Rotherfield was a 2,831 ton steel single-screw steamer. Built in West Hartlepool in 1889, she was sunk in Burra Sound in 1914. She was dispersed with explosives in 1962.

(v) [HY20NW 8004] A 3,423 ton steel single-screw steamer, the Urmstone Grange, was built in Belfast in 1894 and was sunk in 1914. She was dispersed with explosives in 1962.

(vi) [HY20NW 8003] Built in 1938 in Germany, the 8,900 ton tanker Inverlane was holed by a mine off South Shields in 1939. She was patched up, towed to Burra Sound and, there, sunk as a blockship in 1944. She remains relatively intact and her bows are clearly visible, rising from the waters to the S of Hoy Skerries.

(vii) [HY20NW 8006] The Tarbraka was a single-screw steamer of 2,624 tons. Built in Rotterdam in 1909, she was captured by the Royal Navy in 1940 and was sunk as a blockship, initially in Kirk Sound. At the completion of Churchill Barrier 1, the Tarbraka was re-floated and sunk in Burra Sound in 1944. She now lies, upside down, in 12m of water to the S of Hoy Skerries.

(viii) [HY20SW 8001] The 1,761 ton single-screw steamer the Doyle, built in Troon in 1907, was sunk in 1940. She lies relatively intact beneath 15m of water.

Reference (2011)

Whittaker ID : 2573

Name : ROTHERFIELD

Latitude : 585540

Longitude : 31838

Date Built : 1889

Registration : LONDON

Type : SS (STEEL)

Tonnage : 2831

Tonnage Code : G

Length : 98

Beam : 12

Draught : 6m

Position : Exact Position

Loss Day : 23

Loss Month : 9

Loss Year : 1914

Comment : Scuttled as a blockship in Burra Sound. Dispersed in 1962

Reference (19 April 2012)

UKHO Identifier : 001099

Feature Class : Wreck

Wreck Category : Dangerous wreck

State : LIVE

Classification : Unclassified

Position (Lat/long) : 58.92692,-3.30980

Horizontal Datum : ETRS 1989

WGS84 Position (Lat/long) : 58.92692,-3.30980

WGS84 Origin : Original

Previous Position : 58.92737,-3.30833

Position Method : Horizontal sextant angle

Position Quality : Precisely known

Depth : 1.2

Depth Method : Found by echo-sounder

Depth Quality : Least depth known

Water Depth : 4

Water Level Effect : Always under water/submerged

Vertical Datum : Lowest Astronomical Tide

Name : ROTHERFIELD

Type : SS

Flag : BRITISH

Length : 97.5

Orientation : 10.0

Tonnage : 2831

Tonnage Type : Gross

Date Sunk : 23/09/1914

Contact Description : Notable debris

Original Sensor : None reported

Original Detection Year : 1940

Original Source : Survey Vessel

Circumstances of Loss : **SUNK AS A BLOCKSHIP.

Surveying Details : **H3875/26 SHOWN, WITH OTHER BLOCKSHIPS ON 2568, 2180. SHOWN IN 585538.5N, 031830W, DOWN BY THE BOW WITH PROPELLER EXPOSED, LYING ALMOST PARALLEL WITH SHORE ON SURVEY [C 8009/1]. WRECKAGE, DRYING 8FT, SHOWN ON FRANKLIN'S SURVEY DTD 15.5.40.

**H2515/56 15.8.62 SHOWN AS ISOLATED OBSTNS ON TRACING OVERLAY CHART 2568.

**24.2.75 NO LONGER SHOWN ON CHARTS.

**H3579/88 22.7.88 WAS BLOWN UP AND DISPERSED IN 1962. (THE SHIPS OF SCAPA FLOW). CHARTED AS DWP 98MTRS LONG. LEAST DEPTH 1.2MTRS. LYING 190/010DEGS (BOW SSW), CENTRED ON 585538.5N, 031830W [OGB]. BR STD.

POSITIONS BELOW THIS POINT ARE IN DEGREES, MINUTES AND DECIMALS OF A MINUTE

**5.11.10 NOT LOCATED BY M/B. DATA VERY NOISY CLOSE E OF LISTED POSN AND HENCE DELETED. (FATHOMS LTD, SCAPA FLOW SURVEY, POSN SDC REPROCESSING). RETAIN AS CHARTED. NCA.

Chart Symbol : DWP 1.2

Charting Comments : LENGTH 97MTRS, BOWS SSW

Date Last Amended : 22/07/2004

Date Position Last Amended : 22/07/2004

Project (March 2012)

Excerpt from the report:

'SCAPA FLOW WRECK SURVEYS

Archaeological Interpretation of Multibeam data and Desk-Based Assessment

WA Ref: 83680.03

Summary:

WA Coastal and Marine was commissioned by Historic Scotland to provide highresolution multibeam bathymetry data targeted on a number of wreck sites in Scapa Flow in the Orkney Islands. The list of targets were provided by Historic Scotland, ordered by priority, based on the importance of the wreck and the lack of prior survey at each site. Scapa Flow is a large natural harbour in the southern part of the Orkney Islands in

the North of Scotland, which served as Britain’s main naval base during WWI and WWII. Its waters hold Scotland’s highest concentrations of shipwrecks. Although some of the wrecks in Scapa Flow have previously been the subject of highresolution multibeam surveys there remain a number of important sites which had only previously been covered by low-resolution data acquisition or not covered at all.

WA Coastal & Marine conducted an archaeological assessment of the multibeam data and a Desk-Based Assessment (DBA) of the wreck sites it covered in order to enhance the historic environment record with respect to these sites and to support Historic Scotland’s work on the Scottish Marine Protected Areas Project. Through a thorough review of published and online material relating to the wrecks thought to be in the vicinity of Scapa Flow it has been possible to produce a detailed discussion of these sites in almost every case and also to clarify a number of conflicting sources. This has enabled us to state with certainty the exact location of

each targeted wreck from the multibeam survey, in some cases for the first time. In addition a thorough review of published material and diver accounts has enabled an informed analysis of features visible at each wreck site. The importance of these wreck sites can now be placed within their national and, in some cases, internationalcontexts.

A total of 18 wrecks were surveyed and assessed over the course this project. 16 of have been identified. The two remaining unidentified wrecks are both located in Burra Sound and are isolated pieces of wreck material, which may be associated with recorded losses in the area. The positions of all 16 identified wrecks have been improved, in some cases by over 100 metres. The survey has also greatly aided in understanding the relative positions of the wrecks to each other. The project has also highlighted discrepancies between some diver reports and observed details in the survey data, such as the structural details of some wrecks.'

Information also reported in Oasis (waherita1-136288) 18 June 2013

Reference (March 2012)

Sitename : Rotherfield

Altname : Burra Sound, Scapa Flow, Orkney

Note : MBES geophysical anomaly of blockship remains at N58 55.587 W3 18.68716 of high archaeological potential. An irregular shaped mound on the seabed aligned N-S, measures around 13.8 metres by 2.7 metres and is about 8 metres in height. It is situated in about 3.3 metres of water on irregular ground. Due to the nature of the supplied MBES survey data it is difficult to ascertain which blockship these remains could be associated with.

Kevin Heath (pers. comm) By position this could be the bow of the Blockship SS Rotherfield ADM 116/2073A (UKHO wreck No 1099).

Sources :

Kevin Heath (personal communication),2012

UKHO wreck report,2012,1099

Burra Sound at 2m resolution in WGS1984 Bathymetry id 2010-27833_ScapaFlowMain_Burra_2m_SB_WGS84.bag

References

MyCanmore Image Contributions


Contribute an Image

MyCanmore Text Contributions