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De Haan: Alexandra Wharf, Lerwick Harbour, Bressay Sound

Dutch East Indiaman (17th Century)

Site Name De Haan: Alexandra Wharf, Lerwick Harbour, Bressay Sound

Classification Dutch East Indiaman (17th Century)

Alternative Name(s) Haan; 'north East Corner Of Alexandra Wharf'; Alexandra Quay; Lerwick Bay; North Sea; Haan (De Haan ?); De Hahn

Canmore ID 237132

Site Number HU44SE 8011

NGR HU 47625 41739

NGR Description HU c. 476 415

Datum Datum not recorded


Ordnance Survey licence number AC0000807262. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

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

Archaeology Notes

HU44SE 8011 c. 476 415

N60 9.3 W1 8.5

NLO: Alexandra Wharf [name: HU 476 415]

Bressay Sound [name centred HU 485 415]

Lerwick [name: HU 475 415].

Formerly entered under classification Warship.

For cannon from this vessel mounted in front of the Shetland Hotel (at HU c. 46773 42266), see HU44SE 275.01.

For walking stick held in Shetland Museum and made of timbers from the De Haan and Wendela, see HU69SE 8001.

De Haan: [max. date] 1640

Burnt and sunk by armed Dunkirk ship. During dredging operations at N.E. corner of Alexandra Wharf remains of ship including four guns and 60 ft. of kel were recovered.

Archive Ref: OLM Vol. 5 p. 20; D.6/292/3 P. 89; D.6/292/15 p. 1; St 16/2/1922 p. 90

Source: Shetland Archive Service [undated].

MS/3025, no. 184

(Classified as East Indiaman: date of loss cited as 5 June 1640). Haan (de Haan?): this vessel was burnt and sunk by the French in Lerwick harbour. Registration; Dutch.

(Location of loss cited as N60 9.5 W1 7.0).

I G Whittaker 1998.

Held in Shetland Museum under registration number SEA 88125 and accession number A15-86 there is a complete brick of Overjessel stane from this wreck. It was found with half a dozen smaller pieces, measures 16.5 x 8 x 3.5cm, and is harder and more dense than comparable pieces from the wrecks of the Lastdrager (HP50SW 8001) and Kennemerland (HU67SE 8001).

NMRS, MS/829/65.

The rig of this vessel is apparently not recorded.

Information from RCAHMS (RJCM), 6 September 2005.

(Date of loss cited as 1640). De Haan: 'West shore of Bressay Sound'.


The location that is assigned to this record is essentially tentative, and falls within the area of Lerwick Harbour.

The ill-defined area of Lerwick Harbour (HU44SE 32: centred HU 47722 41345) essentially forms an extensive roadstead which comprises the waters of Bressay Sound between the narrow Northern entrance (around HU 475 445) and the broader Southern entrance (around HU 483 400). The main facilities are to be found around HU 477 414, on the W side of the Sound; recent development extends Northwards from this point.

The location of loss cited by Pritchard remains unverified.

Information from RCAHMS (RJCM), 13 September 2006.



Reference (2011)

Whittaker ID : 1438

Name : HAAN (DE HAAN ?)

Latitude : 600930

Longitude : 10700

Registration : DUTCH


Loss Day : 15

Loss Month : 6

Loss Year : 1640

Comment : Burnt and sunk by French at Lerwick Harbour.

Diver Inspection (10 August 2017 - 11 August 2017)

A site survey was undertaken of the De Hahn, located at the base and extending under the current Alexandra Wharf in Lerwick Harbour. Two yellow sandstone bricks with a length of 17 cm, a width of 7.3 cm and a height of 3.5 cm were recovered and passed onto the Lerwick Museum. These were compared to previous bricks that were recovered from De Hahn, now located in the Shetland Museum Archive and confirmed to be of the same type. The location was recorded as 60°9'26.49"N; 1° 8'38.04"W, which was directly opposite the compartments 29-32 of the fish market.

Information from Isco Vico Sommer (Wessex Archaeology) 19 February 2018: OASIS ID: waherita1-298315

Project (28 February 2017 - 28 February 2018)

Wessex Archaeology (Scotland) (WA) was commissioned by Historic Environment Scotland (HES) to carry out an undesignated site assessment of the Drottningen af Sverige (Queen of Sweden) as part of the Scottish Underwater Archaeological Services contract (HS/C/2804). The objectives were to collate all plans and geophysical data of the wreck, to undertake a diving assessment to delineate the principal surviving areas and extent of archaeological potential and to enhance the photographic record of visible features. This is with a view to provide recommendations to HES prior to a decision being taken to potentially designate the site as an historic Marine Protected Area (MPA).

Due to increasing swell and strong winds from the northwest the dive team was weathered off the Queen of Sweden site between the 10th and 11th August 2017. Therefore, instead of work on the Queen of Sweden, a site survey was undertaken of the De Hahn, located at the base and extending under the current Alexandra Wharf in Lerwick Harbour.

Following a request from Val Turner, the Shetland Amenity Trust Archaeologist, WA visited an unidentified intertidal site on St. Ninian’s Isle beach that was reported to the Shetland Amenity Trust by Michael Stratigos. Although the wreck itself was not located by the team during the intertidal walk over, the team did locate a single timber which might be associated with the wreck

Information from Isco Vico Sommer (Wessex Archaeology) 19 February 2018: OASIS ID: waherita1-298315


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