Penarth Dock, South Wales - 150 years - the heritage and legacy  
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Volume Eight - Pre-Victorian to the present day - more aspects - Storms and their effects . . .

The wreck of the s.s. 'Golden Fleece'

The s.s. 'Golden Fleece' was registered at Glasgow having been built at Blackwall, London in 1853. She was sold to 'foreign interests' in 1869 but on the 10th September that same year, she foundered in Penarth Roads. [941]

• June 1870 - Torpedo Operation on the Golden Fleece in the Bristol Channel - An attack by torpedoes was made yesterday afternoon by the Royal Engineers upon the wreck of the Golden Fleece, which has been for so many months an obstruction in the channel way for shipping off Sully Island. The charges were in three iron cylinders, amounting in the aggregate to 1,500 lbs. of gunpowder, and were applied to a portion of the vessel immediately in front of the engines. A large quantity of timber was brought away by the explosion, and the general condition of the appearances displayed were such as to signify that the operation had been successful, but no actual results can be recorded until a survey by soundings has been made. There were present on the occasion Colonel Galwey, R.E., Capt. Home,, Ctpt. Malcolm, R.E., and several others of the Royal Engineer officers from Chatham; as also Capt. Locock, B.E., in charge of the fortification work upon this coast, and other scientific visitors. - Western Mail [164] [361] 15th June 1870.

• November 1870 - The Sully Light-Ship - During the gale on Tuesday afternoon there was so much sea on that the light-ship moored near the wreck of the Golden Fleece, off Sully, had to slip her anchor, and run for the Penarth Roads, where she now lies on the East mud.' Western Mail [164] [361] 25th November 1870.

The London Gazette [100] of December 9th, 1870 confirms removal of the lightship stating in a notice to mariners:- 'The Trinity House, London, has given notice that, as there is now a depth of 12 feet at low water springs over the wreck, the light vessel has been removed, and the wreck now remains marked by the usual green buoy.'

The National Archives hold documents on Sully Island, in particular, removal of the wreck of the 'Golden Fleece' by Royal Engineers. The documents relate to the year 1871 and to 'legislation urged by Trinity House on removal of obstructions to navigation.'

see also report on her sinking <<  click here >>


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