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Hms Argyll: Bell Rock, North Sea

Cruiser (20th Century)

Site Name Hms Argyll: Bell Rock, North Sea

Classification Cruiser (20th Century)

Alternative Name(s) Inchcape Rock; Hms Argyll

Canmore ID 121118

Site Number NO72NE 8002

NGR NO 7584 2685

Datum Datum not recorded

Permalink http://canmore.org.uk/site/121118

Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2018.

Administrative Areas

  • Council Angus
  • Parish Maritime - Angus
  • Former Region Tayside
  • Former District Maritime
  • Former County Not Applicable

Archaeology Notes

NO72NE 8002 7584 2685

N56 26 W2 23.5

NLO: Bell Rock [NO 762 270].

For wreck of associated salvage vessel, see NO32NE 8001.

For three cannons found 'near the forward gun of HMS Argyll', see NO72NE 8013.

(Location cited as N56 26 W2 23.5). The dispersed remains of this cruiser lie in 6m depth of water to the W of the Bell Rock. The guns and propellors have been removed.

G Ridley 1992.

(Classified as Cruiser: date of loss cited as 28 October 1915). HMS Argyll: this vessel stranded on the Bell Rock, West of the light[house] and approximately 420ft [128m] off. Salvaged to watereline.

Registration: London. Built 1904. 10850 tons displacement. Length: 135m. Beam: 23m.

(Location of loss cited as N56 26.0 W2 23.5).

I G Whittaker 1998.

Length: 475ft (144.8m)

Beam: 68ft 6ins (20.9m)

Displacement: 10,850 tons

Propulsion: coal-fired triple expansion (4-cylinder): two screws: 21,000hp; 22.25 kts

Guns: 4 x 7.5 ins (190mm); 6 x 6 ins (152mm); 12 x 12 pdr and smaller

Torpedo tubes: 2 x 18 ins (457mm)

Armour: belt 6 ins (152mm); deck 2 ins (51mm)

Complement: 655/700

This armoured cruiser of the six-strong Devonshire class was built by Scott's at Greenock, being launched in March 1904 and completed in 1905. She served (with other members of the class) in the Third Cruiser Squadron of the Grand Fleet and saw action at the Battle of the Heligoland Bight before being wrecked off Eastern Scotland in October 1915.

The location cited for this loss lies almost immediately SW of the Bell Rock lighthouse (NO72NE 1), where a dangerous wreck is charted in less than 10m depth of water. The isolated reef of the Bell Rock rises from water between 25 and 30m deep about 10nm (18.5 km) E of the Abertay light (the outer limit of the Tay estuary), the same distance SE of Arbroath and 11.5nm (21.3km) NE of Fife Ness.

(More detailed specification cited by Jane).

Information from RCAHMS (RJCM), 17 December 2002.

H M Le Fleming 1961; [Jane] 2001.

HO chart no. 190 (1978, revised 1996).

Plans and photographs of this vessel are held in the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich.

(For online catalogue of negatives, see www.nmm.ac.uk/historicphotographs).

Information from Ms G Fabri (NMM), 7 November 2003.

The vessel was not refloated after stranding. Instead, everything of value was removed and she was reduced to a pile of steel plates, some at least were recovered in c. 1980-1982. With the development of recreational diving, she became a recognised dive site. Her two manganese-bronze propellers were located in 1970 (by recreational divers from HMS Condor, Arbroath) and subsequently raised for scrap.

MS/5018.

The Bell Rock lighthouse (NO72NE 1) is at NO 76165 26808.

Information from RCAHMS (RJCM), 13 August 2007.

Activities

Loss (28 October 1915)

(Location cited as N56 26 W2 23.5). The dispersed remains of this cruiser lie in 6m depth of water to the W of the Bell Rock. The guns and propellors have been removed.

G Ridley 1992.

(Classified as Cruiser: date of loss cited as 28 October 1915). HMS Argyll: this vessel stranded on the Bell Rock, West of the light[house] and approximately 420ft [128m] off. Salvaged to watereline.

Registration: London. Built 1904. 10850 tons displacement. Length: 135m. Beam: 23m.

(Location of loss cited as N56 26.00 W2 23.50).

I G Whittaker 1998.

Note (17 December 2002)

Length: 475ft (144.8m)

Beam: 68ft 6ins (20.9m)

Displacement: 10,850 tons

Propulsion: coal-fired triple expansion (4-cylinder): two screws: 21,000hp; 22.25 kts

Guns: 4 x 7.5 ins (190mm); 6 x 6 ins (152mm); 12 x 12 pdr and smaller

Torpedo tubes: 2 x 18 ins (457mm)

Armour: belt 6 ins (152mm); deck 2 ins (51mm)

Complement: 655/700

This armoured cruiser of the six-strong Devonshire class was built by Scott's at Greenock, being launched in March 1904 and completed in 1905. She served (with other members of the class) in the Third Cruiser Squadron of the Grand Fleet and saw action at the Battle of the Heligoland Bight before being wrecked off Eastern Scotland in October 1915.

The location cited for this loss lies almost immediately SW of the Bell Rock lighthouse (NO72NE 1), where a dangerous wreck is charted in less than 10m depth of water. The isolated reef of the Bell Rock rises from water between 25 and 30m deep about 10nm (18.5 km) E of the Abertay light (the outer limit of the Tay estuary), the same distance SE of Arbroath and 11.5nm (21.3km) NE of Fife Ness.

(More detailed specification cited by Jane).

Information from RCAHMS (RJCM), 17 December 2002.

H M Le Fleming 1961; [Jane] 2001.

HO chart no. 190 (1978, revised 1996).

External Reference (7 November 2003)

Plans and photographs of this vessel are held in the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich.

(For online catalogue of negatives, see www.nmm.ac.uk/historicphotographs).

Information from Ms G Fabri (NMM), 7 November 2003.

External Reference (August 2007)

The vessel was not refloated after stranding. Instead, everything of value was removed and she was reduced to a pile of steel plates, some at least were recovered in c. 1980-1982. With the development of recreational diving, she became a recognised dive site. Her two manganese-bronze propellers were located in 1970 (by recreational divers from HMS Condor, Arbroath) and subsequently raised for scrap.

MS/5018.

Note (13 August 2007)

(Location entered as NO 7584 2685 [N56 26 W2 23.5]. The Bell Rock lighthouse (NO72NE 1) is at NO 76165 26808.

Information from RCAHMS (RJCM), 13 August 2007.

Reference (2011)

Whittaker ID : 60

Name : HMS ARGYLL

Latitude : 562600

Longitude : 22330

Date Built : 1904

Registration : LONDON

Type : CRUISER

Tonnage : 10850

Tonnage Code : D

Length : 135

Beam : 23

Draught : 9m

Position : Position Approximate

Loss Day : 28

Loss Month : 10

Loss Year : 1915

Comment : Stranded Bell rk west of Lt approx 420 ft off. Salvaged to waterline

Named Location (Nlo) (2 February 2012)

NLO: Bell Rock [name: NO 761 268].

For wreck of associated salvage vessel, see NO32NE 8001.

For three cannons found 'near the forward gun of HMS Argyll', see NO72NE 8013.

References

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