The Battle of Trafalgar was to witness both the defeat of Napoleon Bonaparte’s plans to invade Britain, and the death of Admiral Lord Nelson. It was never going to be any ordinary battle, and quickly acquired a heightened, almost magical, reality.
Tucked away in the corner of Guernsey’s Priaulx Library is a framed plaque, written in ornate gothic script that lists the names of 29 Guernseymen. Not just any Guernseymen but men who were there at the possibly most famous naval engagement in history. It’s a list to make you stop and wonder what deeds these men performed that day, what horrors and what acts of courage they witnessed. We may never know for sure but in this article we dig into some of the details of these men that we do know. Men who, that day of days, served their beloved Admiral Nelson and the hungry guns.
On Christmas Day 1982 local Diver Richard Keen spotted the remains of a large wreck sticking out from the mud directly between the pierheads of St Peter Port harbour. It turned out to be the largest, most complete, seagoing Roman ship surviving outside the Mediterranean.
For nearly 150 years making a living, quite a good living actually, in Guernsey took a pecular turn. It was possible to become very rich via the dubiously ‘legal’ practices of Privateering and the less than legal smuggling trade.
On the night of 28 November 1807 as a terrible storm lashed the west coast of Guernsey the warship H.M.S. Boreas, with one hundred and ninety-five officers and sailors on-board, found herself powerless to change course as she headed for the Hanois reef.
Britain is a nautical nation. Indeed her Empire was built on the command of the seas. So it’s not surprising that the nautical world has contributed many of it’s specialised terms to the English language, terms we use every day often without knowing their true meaning or origin. In this article we’ve brought together some of those terms to help you ‘navigate’ the world of ‘Nautical Speak’....
In 1977 one of the most important marine archaeological finds in the British isles was discovered right here in the Channel Islands off of the treacherous coast of Alderney. The find was so great that it is considered second only to that of King Henry VII’s warship the Mary Rose
There may yet still be some people who can remember the strange wreck of a ship on the rocks at Albecq on October 1st 1937, the result of which caused a lot of drinking, laughter and general merryment.
This is a true story of a mystery that’s puzzled archaeologists for a long time. Namely how to explain the nautical prowess of the Vikings in an age long before the invention of reliable magnetic compasses.. Up until now only strange and vague references to their use of a ‘Magic Sun Crystals’ has been offered up as part of the solution to this conundrum.
The British have always been an innovative and inventive nation. Just how inventive may surprise you. In this article we look at just four of the inventions that Britons have made without which, life today would be very different indeed : The Marine Chronometer; Hip replacements; The Electric Motor and Waterproof Materials
The Steam Ship “Stella” has entered local history as a byword for tragedy when she was sadly wrecked in 1899 off of Alderney.