East Cheshire BSAC hosted a talk night with Chris Holden who joined us to deliver a talk on the Wreck of the Royal Charter, the Gold Wreck sunk of Anglesey in 1859.
The Royal Charter was the Sister Ship to the SS Great Britain, and famed for her speed making the journey to Australia in less than 60 days, a real feat at the time.
She was a Liverpool-registered steamship built at the Sandycroft Ironworks on the River Dee. In its time, it was a celebrated fast passenger ship sailing a regular service to Australia – each round trip circumnavigating the globe. On its last return trip to Liverpool, it was only a few hours from River Mersey when it was caught in a huge storm. The storm had the strength of a hurricane and eventually drove the ship ashore near Moelfre on Anglesey. In the hours that followed a terrible tragedy unfolded with the vast majority of the passengers being drowned. A monument stands on the cliff above the site today.
The Royal Charter was sailing at the peak of the Gold Rush and the ship was laden with gold. Many passengers had been carrying a fortune. A treasure of gold nuggets and jewellery sunk to the seafloor along with everyday objects such as walking sticks, spoons and cups. These objects give us a snapshot of what life was like aboard the ship.
is the author of “Life and Death on
the Royal Charter” as well as the
renowned and definitive “Underwater Guides to North Wales”. Chris is an avid diver who took up
diving in 1971 and is a BSAC Advanced Instructor and First Class diver with
Chester Sub-Aqua Club.
Keep an eye out on our website for more talk nights and socials.