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Beagle: Skate Point, Great Cumbrae Island, Firth Of Clyde

Steamship (19th Century)

Site Name Beagle: Skate Point, Great Cumbrae Island, Firth Of Clyde

Classification Steamship (19th Century)

Alternative Name(s) 'Off Cumbrae'; Inner Clyde Estuary; Beagle

Canmore ID 102739

Site Number NS15NE 8005

NGR NS 15512 58919

Datum WGS84 - Lat/Long

Permalink http://canmore.org.uk/site/102739

Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2020.

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Digital Images

Administrative Areas

  • Council North Ayrshire
  • Parish Maritime - North Ayrshire
  • Former Region Strathclyde
  • Former District Maritime
  • Former County Not Applicable

Archaeology Notes

NS15NE 8005 1551 5891

N55 47.3 W4 56.5667

NLO: Skate Point [name: NS 163 584]

Great Cumbrae Island [name centred NS 17 57].

See also NS15NE 8027.

Formerly entered as NS15NE 9373.

Quality of fix = EDM

Evidence = Divers Report

Horizontal Datum = OGB

General water depth = 32

Orientation of keel/wreck = 350170

Circumstances of Loss Details

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

The steamship BEAGLE sank following collision with SS NAPOLI.

Source: Glasgow Herald, 10 November 1865.

Surveying Details

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

3 August 1976. A wreck was located on 15 June 1976 and fixed by compass cross bearings using Knock Castle flagstaff, the north spire of Largs, the monument on the north of Great Cumbrae, and the Glaid Stone at 55 47 23N, 004 56 32W. The least depth by leadline was 36 metres in a general depth of 39.6 metres. The wreck is approximately 125 feet (31 metres) long, and 30 feet (10 metres) in beam. It is lying upright on an even keel orientated 340/160 degreess. There is no superstructure or upper deck. The hull only remains.

Report taken from divers report from HMS BILDESTON, 17 June 1976.

2 December 1981. The site is stated to be the wreck of the BEAGLE.

Report by I G Whittaker, 18 November 1981.

21 March 1983. The wreck lies in a general depth of 34-36 metres, dependant on the state of tide, but drops away to 40 metres near the stern. The hull is intact and upright with average height of 2 metres above the seabed. There is no superstructure, and little decking or cross members remain. There is collision damage to the port bow.

Report by P J Moir.

10 September 1985. The site was dived on 8 Septmeber 1985. The bow stands 5.5 metres high in a general depth (by divers gauge) of 34 metres.

Report by a Mr Lawson.

17 September 1985. The site was located at 55 47 18N, 004 56 34W. The least depth was 26.6 in a general depth of 32 metres.

Report by HMS GLEANER, September 1985.

3 October 1985. The wreck is orientated 000/180 degrees at decca position - (n brit) red d 21.04, purple a 56.03.

Report by HMS GLEANER 17 Septmeber 1985.

1985. The site was dived on 8 and 21 September 1985. The wreck stands 5.5 metres high in a general depth of 32 metres. The high points are the solid post at the bow and the emergency steering position at the stern.

Reeport by C Lawson, 1 October 1985.

12 May 1986. The site was examined on 15 July 1985 at 55 47 18N, 004 56 34W. The least echosounder depth was 26.6 in a general depth of 32 metres. No scourinsg was observed. The side scan sonar indicated height of 4.5 metres. The vessel is lying on an orientation of 350/170 degree, and is upright with apparently nothing standing above deck level. The least depth was obtained at south end.

Report by HMS GLEANER.

Hydrographic Office, 1995.

(Classified as iron steamship: date of loss cited as 8 November 1865). Beagle: this vessel was in collision and sank off Cumbrae (Napoli).

Registration: Glasgow. Built 1864. 454grt. Length: 56m. Beam: 8m.

(Location of loss cited as N55 47.38 W4 56.53).

I G Whittaker 1998.

Material reported under RoW amnesty (2001):

A280 1 bronze or brass signal cannon (46ins long, 2.75ins bore), 2 cast-iron sides of carriage (2 parts of 1 piece): found on seabed.

NMRS, MS/829/33.

Material reported under RoW amnesty (2001):

A559 and 560 2 portholes: from seabed.

NMRS, MS/829/34.

Material reported under RoW amnesty (2001):

A1322 bell, 2 portholes, pottery and cutlery: from seabed

A3220 1 porthole (possibly from Beagle): from seabed

A3518 1 porthole (complete with deadlight): from seabed

A3710 2 silver-plated dinner spoons: from seabed.

NMRS, MS/829/35.

The equation of the reported wreck and artifacts with the documented loss of the Beagle remains unverified, but is accepted.

Information from RCAHMS (RJCM), 10 February 2010.

Activities

Loss (8 November 1865)

(Classified as iron steamship: date of loss cited as 8 November 1865). Beagle: this vessel was in collision and sank off Cumbrae (Napoli).

Registration: Glasgow. Built 1864. 454grt. Length: 56m. Beam: 8m.

(Location of loss cited as N55 47.38 W4 56.53).

I G Whittaker 1998.

Evidence Of Loss (1995)

Quality of fix = EDM

Evidence = Divers Report

Horizontal Datum = OGB

General water depth = 32

Orientation of keel/wreck = 350/170

Circumstances of Loss Details

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

The steamship BEAGLE sank following collision with SS NAPOLI.

Source: Glasgow Herald, 10 November 1865.

Surveying Details

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

3 August 1976. A wreck was located on 15 June 1976 and fixed by compass cross bearings using Knock Castle flagstaff, the north spire of Largs, the monument on the north of Great Cumbrae, and the Glaid Stone at 55 47 23N, 004 56 32W. The least depth by leadline was 36 metres in a general depth of 39.6 metres. The wreck is approximately 125 feet (31 metres) long, and 30 feet (10 metres) in beam. It is lying upright on an even keel orientated 340/160 degreess. There is no superstructure or upper deck. The hull only remains.

Report taken from divers report from HMS BILDESTON, 17 June 1976.

2 December 1981. The site is stated to be the wreck of the BEAGLE.

Report by I G Whittaker, 18 November 1981.

21 March 1983. The wreck lies in a general depth of 34-36 metres, dependant on the state of tide, but drops away to 40 metres near the stern. The hull is intact and upright with average height of 2 metres above the seabed. There is no superstructure, and little decking or cross members remain. There is collision damage to the port bow.

Report by P J Moir.

10 September 1985. The site was dived on 8 Septmeber 1985. The bow stands 5.5 metres high in a general depth (by divers gauge) of 34 metres.

Report by a Mr Lawson.

17 September 1985. The site was located at 55 47 18N, 004 56 34W. The least depth was 26.6 in a general depth of 32 metres.

Report by HMS GLEANER, September 1985.

3 October 1985. The wreck is orientated 000/180 degrees at decca position - (n brit) red d 21.04, purple a 56.03.

Report by HMS GLEANER 17 Septmeber 1985.

1985. The site was dived on 8 and 21 September 1985. The wreck stands 5.5 metres high in a general depth of 32 metres. The high points are the solid post at the bow and the emergency steering position at the stern.

Reeport by C Lawson, 1 October 1985.

12 May 1986. The site was examined on 15 July 1985 at 55 47 18N, 004 56 34W. The least echosounder depth was 26.6 in a general depth of 32 metres. No scourinsg was observed. The side scan sonar indicated height of 4.5 metres. The vessel is lying on an orientation of 350/170 degree, and is upright with apparently nothing standing above deck level. The least depth was obtained at south end.

Report by HMS GLEANER.

Hydrographic Office, 1995.

Evidence Of Loss (2001)

Material reported under RoW amnesty (2001):

A280 1 bronze or brass signal cannon (46ins long, 2.75ins bore), 2 cast-iron sides of carriage (2 parts of 1 piece): found on seabed.

NMRS, MS/829/33.

Material reported under RoW amnesty (2001):

A559 and 560 2 portholes: from seabed.

NMRS, MS/829/34.

Material reported under RoW amnesty (2001):

A1322 bell, 2 portholes, pottery and cutlery: from seabed

A3220 1 porthole (possibly from Beagle): from seabed

A3518 1 porthole (complete with deadlight): from seabed

A3710 2 silver-plated dinner spoons: from seabed.

NMRS, MS/829/35.

Note (10 February 2010)

The equation of the reported wreck and artifacts with the documented loss of the Beagle remains unverified, but is accepted.

Information from RCAHMS (RJCM), 10 February 2010.

Reference (2011)

Whittaker ID : 802

Name : BEAGLE

Latitude : 554723

Longitude : 45632

Date Built : 1864

Registration : GLASGOW

Type : SS (IRON)

Tonnage : 454

Tonnage Code : G

Length : 56

Beam : 8

Draught : 4m

Position : Exact Position

Loss Day : 8

Loss Month : 11

Loss Year : 1865

Comment : Collision and sunk off Cumbrae (NAPOLI).

Reference (19 April 2012)

UKHO Identifier : 004095

Feature Class : Wreck

Wreck Category : Dangerous wreck

State : LIVE

Classification : Unclassified

Position (Lat/long) : 55.78827,-4.94395

Horizontal Datum : ETRS 1989

WGS84 Position (Lat/long) : 55.78827,-4.94395

WGS84 Origin : Block Shift

Previous Position : 55.78833,-4.94278

Position Method : Electronic Distance Measuring System

Position Quality : Surveyed

Position Accuracy : 13.0

Depth : 26.5

Depth Method : Found by diver

Depth Quality : Least depth known

Water Depth : 32

Water Level Effect : Always under water/submerged

Vertical Datum : Lowest Astronomical Tide

Name : BEAGLE

Type : SS

Flag : BRITISH

Length : 53.3

Beam : 7.9

Draught : 4.3

Shadow Height : 4.5

Orientation : 170.0

Tonnage : 454

Tonnage Type : Gross

Date Sunk : 08/11/1865

Bottom Texture : Sand

Scour Depth : 0.0

Contact Description : Entire wreck

Original Sensor : Reported Sinking

Last Sensor : Acoustic Sensor

Original Detection Year : 1985

Last Detection Year : 1985

Desk Based Assessment (27 November 2014)

Name: Beagle

Position: 55.78827, -4.94395

Basis for Identification: Ships bell.

Shipbuilder: Tod McGregor, Patrick

Build Date: 1864

Loss Date 1865

Vessel type: Steamship

Surviving Features and Condition: UKHO (1976): Wreck located, least depth by leadline 36mtrs in general depth 39.6mtrs. Approx 125ft long, 30ft beam. Upright on even keel. Lies 340/160degs. No superstructure or upper deck. Hull only.

UKHO (1983, attributes information to Moir): Hull intact and upright with average height 2mtrs above seabed. No superstructure and little decking or cross members remain. Collision damage port bow.

UKHO (1985, attributes information to diver report from Clawson, 1985): Wreck stands 5.5mtrs high in general depth 32mtrs. High points are solid post at bow and emergency steering position at stern.

UKHO (1986): Investigated using Trisponder least e/s depth 26.6 in general depth 32mtrs. No scour. Dual Control Side Scan Sonar measured the height at 4.5mtrs. Lying 350/170deg, upright with apparently nothing standing above deck level.

Moir and Crawford (2004): Survives well. Lies on an even keel. Stem extends 4.5m above the seabed. Forecastle and main anchor noted, and bow steam winch. Forehold area discernible. Collision damage on port side visible.

Russel (online video, uploaded to youtube 2007). Shows sections of the hull standing proud of the seabed. Marine growth evident.

Scobie (pers. comm. 2015). Last dived the Beagle in 2013. Beagle is upright and extends to 3-4m above the seabed. The wreck has deteriorated down to the gunwales all round. Collision hole visible. Boilers and engine are all that remain in the central area. A brass cannon ,probably a signal gun, taken from the stern area is now with the Scottish National museum.

Sewell (pers. comm. 2015): Last dived in 2013. RS has done survey work on the Beagle. A large section of the hull is missing on the port side. Features of the wreck noted include the bow and cabin area. Aft of this there is a large empty space. An anchor is visible toward one end of the wreck (possibly the bow), and winch wheels are present. Railing is also present, and a section of the railing is missing near the port side toward the bow.

Moir and Crawford (pers. comm.,. 2015): Note the high quality of the fittings. Deck previously surviving, scupper, ships wheel. High quality features noted on the wreck including a cast iron stand with 2 dolphins, in which the ship’s bell fitted. Portholes with glad and deadlight also noted. Last dived by Moir in 2013/ 2014. Deck has fallen in. Boiler stands. Stern features surviving, signal cannon. Rapid deterioration noted. Crockery in area. (divers note that G & J Burns, owners of the Beagle, were involved in the consolidation of a number of shipping companies, into the Cunard Line, and that crockery on this wreck has a crest similar to the Cunard Line crest).

Fyne Pioneer (nd. Undated website information): Hull form extant. The bow post and emergency steering position at the stern form the wreck’s high points. Other features noted include the boiler stack, engine room, anchor and steam winch (toward the bow), propeller and rudder. Collision damage visible. Cross-decking and support structure has largely deteriorated. The aft bulkhead has disintegrated. Superstructure of the vessel has collapsed. The website also indicates that the following material has been recovered from the wreck and declared to the Receiver of Wreck: Bronze or brass signal cannon, two cast iron sides of carriage, portholes (one with a deadlight), pottery and cutlery.

Seabed and type and marine environment: Muddy seabed. The depth of the seabed is recorded at 32m by the UKHO. Surface sediments of Sand and Mud recorded by the Institute of Geological Sciences (Deegan et. al. 1973)

Information from Sally Evans (Cotswold Archaeology), 27/11/2014.

Desk Based Assessment (27 November 2014)

The Beagle was built in 1864 by Tod & McGregor Glasgow (Moir and Crawford, 2004: 54).

Information from Sally Evans (Cotswold Archaeology), 27/11/2014.

Project (October 2014 - April 2015)

The maritime archaeology of the Clyde has been identified as a focus for a major study of human interaction with the river through time by the RCAHMS following on from recommendations by the Scottish Archaeological Research Framework (ScARF). Source to

Sea has been developed as the long-term research programme, of which the research into human connections with the River Clyde forms part. This project has comprised a study of the surviving shipwreck heritage of Clyde-built vessels lost within the Clyde estuary and Firth of Clyde.

This project has collated information from a range of sources and has enhanced knowledge of Clyde-built wrecks within the Clyde. In particular information from recreational divers has proved invaluable and has been the source of detailed information about the current condition of many Clyde-built wrecks, useful for on-going management. A number of wrecks previously recorded as of unknown identity in the RCAHMS database were positively identified during the project and more accurate positional information was established for a number of other wrecks. Additionally, the project identified a potentially significant wreck (Margaret Niven) the remains of which were not previously recorded. This project has also identified a number of other potentially significant wrecks within the Clyde, which reflect both its unique contributions to world-wide shipbuilding and local connections. These wrecks include paddle steamers (Lapwing and Princess of Wales), Clyde Puffers (e.g. Margaret Niven), steam-yachts with military connections (HMS Breda), a dredger (Greenock) and an 18th-century West Indiaman (Lady Margaret). Numerous other wrecks have been identified by this project, and all display some degree of significance.

Information from Sally Evans (Cotswold Archaeology) April 2015

References

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