Is this the 117-year-old wreckage of ‘The Brunswick’?

Published: Thursday 27th July 2017

Extraordinary new images have given a clear picture of a mystery wreckage discovered in the shifting sands of the Severn Estuary.



Bristol Port’s hydrographic team were excited to capture these images last month during a routine survey of the Harbour Area, using their state-of-the-art vessel Isambard Brunel.

One theory was that it could be a cargo vessel called The Brunswick, which is recorded as having gone down in the same area, outside the harbour’s navigation channel. The images show a vessel around 65m long by 9m wide with a bridge midships and a likely cargo hold on the foredeck.

Emily Hand from the Port's Marine department explains: “From research, there is a chance it may have been The Brunswick, which is the same size and transited between Liverpool and Bristol. But there is no way to know for sure as many other vessels could fit the size and shape of this wreck. We have contacted Historic England to see if we can find out more about this wreck from their records.”

Historic England this week confirmed that it is very likely to be the steam ship The Brunswick, which went down on Christmas Eve in 1900, sadly claiming seven lives after being caught up in dense fog. Marine experts from the Port first saw the wreck when the dynamic Estuary environment granted a clear image during a routine survey last month. A second site visit by the Port Marine team suggests its secrets maybe safe for sometime to come as shifting sands and sediment are close to submerging and protecting it again.