Antoinette (barque)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Name: Antoinette
Commissioned: 1874
Struck: January 29, 1889
Reinstated: August 10, 1889
Fate: Wrecked on Doom Bar January 2, 1895
General characteristics
Class and type: Barque
Tonnage: 1118 (net)
Sail plan: Square rig Ship

The Antoinette was a 1,118 ton barque, built in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia in 1874 and was used for the transportation of goods. She struck land on Tuckernuck in 1889, requiring the entire crew to be rescued. Although she was reinstated later that year, she was finally wrecked on the Doom Bar on the north coast of Cornwall; the largest ship to be wrecked there. The majority of the wreck ended up on the Town Bar off Padstow and mostly disappeared after being destroyed with gelignite. However some of the hull re-emerged in March 2010, creating a hazard to local shipping.


In 1874, JM Gardenor officially launched the Antoinette, from Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. The ship was originally owned by J Bingay, but was subsequently sold to Dennis & Doane, W Law and finally R Elkin.[1]


The Antoinette struck the Nantucket Shoal near Tuckernuck Island on January 27, 1889.[2] Early on the following morning a lifeboat from United States Life-Saving Service, manned by four brothers, managed to rescue everyone aboard.[3] The New York Times explains that this feat was all the more impressive as two people rescued were women.[4] She was towed to port, and eventually reinstated on August 10, 1889.


On New Years Day 1895, the Antoinette set off from Newport laden with coal, destined for Brazil. She foundered near Lundy Island, losing sections of her mast.[5][6] She was towed towards a safe port, but broke free and drifted. Eventually, she broke up, with a large portion of the wreck lodging on the Doom Bar at the mouth of the Camel Estuary on the rugged north Cornwall coast. All fourteen crew and three stranded pilots were rescued.[6][7]

Although attempts by three tugs from Cardiff to remove the largest piece of the wreck were unsuccessful, the next spring tide carried it up the estuary onto Town Bar, opposite the port of Padstow, where it was a hazard to shipping.[6] A miner named Pope was called in to remove it: he manoeuvred a box filled with gelignite underneath the wreck and detonated it after clearing the area. The resulting explosion was so violent that reports claim every window in the nearby harbour of Padstow was blown in and the smoke could be seen three miles (5 km) away.[5]

In March 2010, due to shifting sands, a wreck was uncovered on Town Bar, which the harbour master believed to be the Antoinette.[7] Being near to a navigational channel, it was considered to still be a hazard to shipping. The Royal Navy Bomb Disposal Unit failed to demolish it so it was marked with a buoy; in March 2011 further work, using saws, was started to make it safe.[8]

In popular culture[edit]


  1. ^ "Ship Information Database — Owners". CHIN’s Professional Exchange. Retrieved 5 January 2011. 
  2. ^ The Rev. A.B., Earle (1901). In The Morning Hour. James H. Earle. 
  3. ^ Gardner, Arthur (1915). Wrecks around Nantucket: since the settlement of the island, and the incidents connected therewith, embracing over seven hundred vessel (volume 2). The Inquirer and mirror press. p. 143. 
  4. ^ "Rescued by the life-saving crew". New York Times. 2 February 1889. Retrieved 5 January 2011. 
  5. ^ a b Omorse (15 February 2010). "Mystery wreck hands harbour a big headache". This Is Cornwall. Retrieved 5 January 2011. 
  6. ^ a b c "March 2010 - Antoinette". Padstow Museum. Retrieved 5 January 2011. 
  7. ^ a b "Mysterious shipwreck appears in Padstow". BBC. 18 February 2010. Retrieved 5 January 2011. 
  8. ^ Johns, Charles; Camidge, Kevin; Northover, Peter (14 March 2011). Wreck of the Barque Antoinette, Camel Estuary, Padstow, Cornwall: Undesignated Site Assessment and Emergency Recording (PDF) (Report). Cornwall Council: Historic Environments Projects. Report ID – 2010R101. Retrieved 27 April 2012. 
  9. ^ Last FM

External links[edit]