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Margaret Niven: Barmore Bay, Loch Fyne, Firth Of Clyde

Steamship (20th Century)

Site Name Margaret Niven: Barmore Bay, Loch Fyne, Firth Of Clyde

Classification Steamship (20th Century)

Alternative Name(s) Barmore Island; Barmore Point; Stonefield Bay; East Loch Tarbet; East Loch Tarbert; Outer Clyde Estuary; Margaret Niven

Canmore ID 112344

Site Number NR87SE 8004

NGR NR 87100 72108

NGR Description NR c. 87 71

Datum WGS84 - Lat/Long

Permalink http://canmore.org.uk/site/112344

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

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Digital Images

Administrative Areas

  • Council Argyll And Bute
  • Parish Maritime - Argyll And Bute
  • Former Region Strathclyde
  • Former District Maritime
  • Former County Not Applicable

Archaeology Notes

NR87SE 8004 c. 87 71

N55 53 W5 24

NLO: Barmore Island [name: NR 871 713]

East Loch Tarbert [name centred NR 878 690]

Loch Fyne [name centred NR 94 89].

Formerly entered as NS05NE 8002 at cited location NS 0663 5902 (N55 47.15 W5 5.05).

MARGARET NIVEN, 3 Sept 1908. Vessel sunk near Barmore Point, East Loch Tarbet [Tarbert], Loch Fyne in about 6 fathoms. Cargo of crushed granite. To sell the property as it lies.

10 Sept 1908 wreck sold for ?14 to Messrs Mclean & Co.

Source: Glasgow University Business Archives, UGD95/1/3 Glasgow Salvage Association, minutes.

(Classified as iron steamship, with cargo of stones: date of loss cited as 21 August 1908). Margaret Niven: this vessel sank in Stonefield Bay, Loch Fyne.

Registration: Greenock. Built 1866. 41grt. Length: 19m. Beam: 5m.

(Location of loss cited as N55 53.75 W5 24.50).

I G Whittaker 1998.

The location assigned to this record is essentially arbitrary. Neither Stonefield Bay nor Barmore Point is noted as such on the 1998 edition of the OS 1:50,000 map, but the latter is presumably to be equated with part or all of Barmore Island, which is situated on the W side of Loch Fyne, about 2km N of East Loch Tarbert.

Information from RCAHMS (RJCM), 17 June 2002.

Activities

Loss (21 August 1908)

MARGARET NIVEN, 3 Sept 1908. Vessel sunk near Barmore Point, East Loch Tarbet [Tarbert], Loch Fyne in about 6 fathoms. Cargo of crushed granite. To sell the property as it lies.

10 Sept 1908 wreck sold for ?14 to Messrs Mclean & Co.

Source: Glasgow University Business Archives, UGD95/1/3 Glasgow Salvage Association, minutes.

(Classified as iron steamship, with cargo of stones: date of loss cited as 21 August 1908). Margaret Niven: this vessel sank in Stonefield Bay, Loch Fyne.

Registration: Greenock. Built 1866. 41grt. Length: 19m. Beam: 5m.

(Location of loss cited as N55 53.75 W5 24.50).

I G Whittaker 1998.

Note (17 June 2002)

The location assigned to this record is essentially arbitrary. Neither Stonefield Bay nor Barmore Point is noted as such on the 1998 edition of the OS 1:50,000 map, but the latter is presumably to be equated with part or all of Barmore Island, which is situated on the W side of Loch Fyne, about 2km N of East Loch Tarbert.

The date of loss cited by Whittaker differs from that cited by GUBA; the former is preferred.

Information from RCAHMS (RJCM), 17 June 2002.

Reference (2011)

Whittaker ID : 2701

Name : MARGARET NIVEN

Latitude : 555345

Longitude : 52430

Date Built : 1866

Registration : GREENOCK

Type : SS (IRON)

Tonnage : 41

Tonnage Code : G

Length : 19

Beam : 5

Loss Day : 21

Loss Month : 8

Loss Year : 1908

Comment : Sank in Stonefield Bay, Loch Fyne.

Cargo : STONES

Desk Based Assessment (28 November 2014)

Name: Margaret Niven

Position: 55.894883, -5.4066

Basis for Identification: The vessel is the only known loss of a steamlighter with a chipped stone cargo to hit this reef and sink (Moir pers. comm., 2015). Salvage association records indicate that Margaret Niven was sunk near Barmore Point with a cargo of crushed granite

Shipbuilder: Port Glasgow

Build Date: 1866

Loss Date 1908

Vessel type: Steamship (Clyde Puffer) when lost. Built as a gabbart.

Surviving Features and Condition: Moir and Crawford (2004): small wreck, hull largely intact. Stern, propeller and single boiler noted. Cargo (gravel ships) in place. Some scattered wreckage on seabed.

Divernet (from article which appeared in Diver in 2012): the article reports that the Margaret Niven sits upright and is largely intact, with winches and bollards on the bow, rudder and propeller at the stern and stone chips in the hold.

Coyle, (2013a-b, you tube videos published 2013). These videos show the winch machinery and a section of the hull of the Margaret Niven. The remains appear to be in good condition. The videos also show the stern and boiler (with a hole through which internal components are visible) of the wreck.

FynePioneer (n.d). The description on the website indicates that the small wreck of the Margaret Niven includes the bow, large winches and bollards, hold with stone chip cargo, and a large boiler with a small one-cylinder engine behind. Propeller and rudder are extant, the latter hard to starboard. It is though that this may relate to the loss of the vessel, and may show the attempts to avoid the rocks on which the Margaret Niven wrecked. Images on the website date to 2014, (Roberts 2014) show the winches.

Roberts (2014): Video shows the wreck including the hull and winches.

Moir and Crawford (pers. comm.,. 2015) Bow split open. Condition probably as in Clyde Shipwrecks (the area is not really tidal and deterioration in this area is thought to be lesser). There are lots of elements of this wreck surviving including propeller, rudder post, vertical boiler, deck beams, winch, gravel cargo.

Exley (pers. comm 2015). Dived in 2013. Reasonably intact. Winches situated at front of wreck. Glass dome noted by divers (c. 10 inches wide), appears similar to a compass but situated near winch, at front of vessel. Possibility that this feature has been moved. There is something within the glass dome (possibly compass) but it has not been possible to identify what this is.

Seabed and type and marine environment: Shingle, sloped seabed. Site not subject to tidal flows. Divers indicate the wreck lies in depths of 28-30m. Surface sediments of Gravel, Sand and Mud recorded by the Institute of Geological Sciences (Deegan et. al. 1973)

Information from Sally Evans (Cotswold Archaeology), 28/11/2014.

Desk Based Assessment (27 November 2014)

The Margaret Niven is currently recorded as a documentary loss with an approxiamate position. A wreck thought to be that of the Margaret Niven has been located by divers at 55˚53.693'N, 005˚24.396'W. Decimal degrees 55.894883333333333, 5.4066

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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