On the 7th of September 1842, the Arbroath brig 'Caledonia' founders on these north Cornwall rocks, taking the lives of it's captain and ten crew members. Only one seaman survives the tragic event & those lost are given a Christian burial by the Rev. R.S.Hawker. One hundred and sixty six years later in 2008, the brig's figurehead will be respectfully restored and mounted within Morwenstow Parish Church where a service of dedication & celebration will be held on the anniversary of the shipwreck to mark the completion of the project, a remarkable example of love and caring from one end of a long island to the other.
This image copyright Hilary Hoad - courtesy of Pictures of England.com
Higher Sharpnose Point, where the 'Caledonia' is wrecked and
( inset ) Hawker's Hut ( the National Trust'a smallest property) where the
benign Parson ( below ) would keep an eye on the ocean for boats in distress
Morwenstow Parish Church. It's grounds are the
final resting place of the brig's captain & ten crew
The photographs of 'Sharpnose Point' & 'Morwenstow Church' are reproduced by kind permission of Angus Holland, a north Cornwall resident born in Arbroath in 1945.
The end of the 'Caledonia'
The Arbroath built brig, homeward bound from the Black Sea port of Odessa, calls into Falmouth to
bury a crewman who has died of his wounds following a knife fight in Constantinople. She leaves Falmouth
for Gloucester to discharge a cargo of wheat as a fierce north westerly gale is raging. A lookout spies huge waves breaking on Sharpnose Point and 28 year old Captain Stevenson shortens sail and tries to stand clear. However the ship refuses to come up and smashes into the rocks beneath the headland. The Captain orders
all the crew into the rigging but the mast collapses, throwing everyone into the wild sea
where all but Edward le Dain of Jersey perish.