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Lady Isabella: Little Cumbrae, Firth Of Clyde

Barque (20th Century)

Site Name Lady Isabella: Little Cumbrae, Firth Of Clyde

Classification Barque (20th Century)

Alternative Name(s) 'The Orange Boat'; '300 Yards North-west Of Gull Point'; Outer Clyde Estuary; Lady Isabella

Canmore ID 112255

Site Number NS15SW 8053

NGR NS 1449 4990

Datum WGS84 - Lat/Long

Permalink http://canmore.org.uk/site/112255

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

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Administrative Areas

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

Archaeology Notes

NS15SW 8053 (Formerly NS14NW 8001) 1442 4990

N55 42.42 W4 57.24

NLO: Gull Point [name: NS 146 502]

Little Cumbrae Island [name: NS 145 515].

Location formerly entered as NS 144 499 [N55 42.42 W4 47.47].

LADY ISABELLA, is known to divers as 'the orange boat'.

[Source includes sketch plan of location].

Source: Butland & Siedlecki, BSAC Wreck Register 1987.

(Classified as iron barque, with cargo of nickel ore: date of loss cited as 18 December 1902). Lady Isabella: this vessel stranded on Little Cumbrae, 300 yds NW of Gull Point. Capt. McKinlay. (Built 1892?)

Registration: Glasgow. Built 1882. 1520grt. Length: 78m. Beam: 12m.

(Location of loss cited as N55 42.70 W4 57.40).

I G Whittaker 1998.

(Location cited as N55 42.42 W57.24 [NS 1442 4990]). Lady Isabella: this iron barque of 1396nrt was launched in August 1882 and sank in December 1902. The location of sinking lies 200m NW of Gull Point, Little Cumbrae, and about 50m from the shore on a sloping seabed of sand and rock. Large portions of hull stand about 1.5m high in between 7m and 15m depth of water, but may be difficult to discern beneath a covering of marine wildlife.

Information from Mr J Nicolson, 13 March 2007.

www.finstrokes.com.

Activities

Loss (18 December 1902)

(Classified as iron barque, with cargo of nickel ore: date of loss cited as 18 December 1902). Lady Isabella: this vessel stranded on Little Cumbrae, 300 yds NW of Gull Point. Capt. McKinlay. (Built 1892?)

Registration: Glasgow. Built 1882. 1520grt. Length: 78m. Beam: 12m.

(Location of loss cited as N55 42.70 W4 57.40).

I G Whittaker 1998.

Evidence Of Loss (1987)

LADY ISABELLA, is known to divers as 'the orange boat'.

[Source includes sketch plan of location].

Source: Butland & Siedlecki, BSAC Wreck Register 1987.

Evidence Of Loss (13 March 2007)

(Location cited as N55 42.42 W57.24 [NS 1442 4990]). Lady Isabella: this iron barque of 1396nrt was launched in August 1882 and sank in December 1902. The location of sinking lies 200m NW of Gull Point, Little Cumbrae, and about 50m from the shore on a sloping seabed of sand and rock. Large portions of hull stand about 1.5m high in between 7m and 15m depth of water, but may be difficult to discern beneath a covering of marine wildlife.

Information from Mr J Nicolson, 13 March 2007.

www.finstrokes.com.

Reference (2011)

Whittaker ID : 2779

Name : LADY ISABELLA

Latitude : 554242

Longitude : 45724

Date Built : 1882

Registration : GLASGOW

Type : BARQUE (IRON)

Tonnage : 1520

Tonnage Code : G

Length : 78

Beam : 12

Draught : 6m

Position : Position Approximate

Loss Day : 18

Loss Month : 12

Loss Year : 1902

Comment : Stranded on Little Cumbrae, 300 yds NW of Gull Point. Capt. McKinlay(B:1892?)

Cargo : NICKEL ORE

Desk Based Assessment (27 November 2014)

The Lady Isabella is recorded to have been built by A McMillan & Son, Dumbarton in 1882. The vessel was a 3 masted iron barque (although Lloyds registers from 1882-1889 record the vessel as a ship rather than a barque). More information available online from http://www.clydesite.co.uk/clydebuilt/viewship.asp?id=12338 [accessed 5 December 2014]. There is no UKHO position for this wreck, and it is thought that she was extensively salvaged (Moir and Crawford 2004: 70). However diver sightings suggest that some hull plates, machinery, wood, ropes and a section of the keel survive (Moir and Crawford 2004: 70). See also https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L8UY6CasKEM [accessed 5 December 2014]

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

Desk Based Assessment (27 November 2014)

Name: Lady Isabella

Position: 55.711933, -4.9583

Basis for Identification: Loss position. The Lady Isabella is the only large sailing vessel to be lost in this area, and hull not salvaged. The location of the remains correlates with the general description of the loss, and a photograph depicting the stranded vessel (Moir and Crawford 2004: 70).

Shipbuilder: A McMillan & Son, Dumbarton

Build Date: 1882

Loss Date: 1902

Vessel type: 3 masted iron sailing ship

Surviving Features and Condition: UKHO (1976, description attributed to C. Easton, University of Glasgow): Wreck lies off Gull Rock. She lies in 30-40ft of water, at an angle to the shore. Wreck very broken up & only a mass of steel plates remain. Appears to be a metal-hulled sailing ship.

UKHO (1986). Wreck located during a survey.

Moir and Crawford (2004): Part of the keel and plating remain, as do pieces of machinery, wood and ropes, and non-ferrous metal. Extensive salvage by James Gush, of Greenock following wrecking.

Calvin89m (2011, youtube video uploaded 2011.) Video is at speed, Lady Isabella is shown from around 3mins 14 seconds in. The video shows quite substantial sections of ribs and keel surviving, with some plating. Spars, ropes and debris are also evident on the wreck site.

McGuire (2013, youtube video uploaded 2013): The video shows the wreck of the Lady Isabella. The hull is broken up but relatively large sections survive, with plating and ribs and framing. The plating is deteriorating exposing ribs in some areas. Riveting is visible on some of the plates, and decking can be seen.

Fyne Pioneer (2014). Images, dating to 2014, show the wreck remains including ribs, hull and areas of intact wooden decking. An undated report of the wreck on the same website indicates the remains extend to up to 2m above the seabed. Remains are broken include some hull plates, spars and part of the keel. Machinery, wooden decking and ropes are noted, in addition to some artefacts.

Moir and Crawford (pers. comm., 2015): Note that condition is thought to be the same as in Moir and Crawfords’ book, but more detail on the remains discussed: Capstan, rigging, spars, dead eyes, steel rope, wooden decking and machinery have been noted in addition to artefacts. Quite large pieces of hull remaining including hull plates and ribs. Part of the keel also remains. Remains sit up to 1m above seabed. The rudder can be seen at c. 15m. Although the remains are jumbled some features are discernible.

Sewell (pers. comm.,. 2015). Wreck last dived around December 2014. Outline of the wreck can be seen. Plating is visible, and entrances into the holds are visible. It is thought that the wreck has sunk into the seabed. Remains stand up to 1m above seafloor. Metal debris is noted on the site.

Seabed and type and marine environment: Sloping sandy and rocky. The depth of the seabed in this area is recorded at c. 15m 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.

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

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