Scottish maritime history
Scotland’s first tranche of Historic Marine Protected Areas has been announced. The move was sparked off by the discovery of an 18th century shipwreck near Drumbeg by a scallop diver.
Experts in marine archaeology visited the site last summer and concluded that the wreck is an historic asset of national importance meriting statutory protection.
This set in train a further six proposals for marine archeology sites (Historic MPAs) around Scotland’s coast. These sites are currently safeguarded by the Protection of Wrecks Act 1973 and will have their protection transferred to the Marine (Scotland) Act 2010 – the first time the MPA powers of this Act have been used.
The consultation on the first tranche of Historic MPAs will invite views on:
The well-preserved remains of a vessel of 17th- or early 18th-century date discovered close to the harbour of Drumbeg, Sutherland. Urgent designation takes effect on 18 March 2013 and lasts for a period of two years. The consultation will invite views on proposals to make this designation permanent.
A Clyde-built, Blue-Riband winning Cunard liner, wrecked in the Firth of Forth just off Burntisland in 1918. It was one of the first ships to be converted to an aircraft carrier during WW1.
Duart Point, Isle of Mull
A 17th-century Scottish warship, possibly the Swan, that was part of a squadron sent by Oliver Cromwell to stamp out Royalist resistance to parliamentarian rule in the Western Isles during the Civil War. She was lost near Duart Point on the Isle of Mull in 1653.
This is a fifth-rate naval frigate which was dispatched in 1690 to bring to heel recalcitrant Jacobite clans in the Western Isles and to secure the allegiance of William and Mary. She sank on 9 October 1690 on the small island of Eilean Rubha an Ridire, close to the Morvern shore at the southern entrance to the Sound of Mull.
The wreck of a vessel of probable Dutch origin, lost in an attack on Lochaber’s Mingary Castle in 1644. Important associations exist with the conflicts between the anti-Campbell Highland clans and the Covenanters during the 1640s.
These are the remains of a merchant vessel dating to the late 16th or early 17th century. It was carrying a cargo of ornate ceramics from Portugal and Italy when it sank south of Kinlochbervie harbour, off the north-west Highlands.
Out Skerries, Shetland Kennemerland
Two vessels were lost around the Shetland archipelago of Out Skerries during the 17th century: a) the Kennemerland, a wreck of the Dutch East India Company merchant ship that was outward bound from Holland to the East Indies. She was lost at the South Mouth entrance to the harbour of Shetland’s Out Skerries in 1664; and b) the Wrangels Palais, a wreck of a Danish warship reported as lost at Lamda Stack, close to the navigation hazard of Bound Skerry in July 1687.
It is proposed that two further tranches of Historic MPAs will be announced over the coming two years.