Scilly Diver Might Have Located HMS Romney Wreck Site

todd stevens medieval potteryA St Mary’s shipwreck hunter is hoping an underwater discovery he made yesterday could reveal the wreck site of the HMS Romney.

The ship was one of four, including the HMS Association, Firebrand and Eagle, which sank in October 1707 after a navigational error directed the ships towards the rocks.

The loss of life resulted in Britain’s greatest maritime disaster.

While the wrecks of the other three ships have been located over the years, the Romney has never been uncovered.

Now islander Todd Stevens has found what he believes to be a Royal Navy anchor near the wreck site of the German liner SS Schiller that sank in 1875.

Todd has been pursuing a theory that the earlier wreck of the 48-gun Romney lies under the more recent shipwreck of the Schiller on the Retarrier Ledges.

That could explain why archaeologists haven’t found it yet.

Todd says the wreck of the Schiller, which has a lot of metal in it, masks any magnetic signals that would normally be used to detect artefacts.

But he says he’s now found a number of items that could come from Sir Cloudesley Shovell’s fleet.

He’s seen two old iron guns in the area, one just off the Schiller wreck, and has also uncovered what he believes to be a Royal Navy angle crown anchor right below the site.

Todd has spent a lot of time trying to pin down the Romney.

He says he used to think it was off The Crim, in deep water about 40m down, but he says that turned out to be a foreign vessel and there were only 24 cannons visible – not enough for the Romney.

It’s not unusual for a wreck to lie on top of another earlier ship in Scilly’s waters.

Todd says there are “loads of them” including the Earl of Lonsdale off St Agnes and the River Lune on Brothers Rock.

He hopes that the artefacts that he’s found turn out to be a debris trail leading to the main body of the Romney, rather than it lying beneath the Schiller.

And he says its is “disheartening” to think it may remain buried and inaccessible beneath another wreck, but says he’s “going to keep at it.”

5 Responses to Scilly Diver Might Have Located HMS Romney Wreck Site

  1. Todd Stevens August 21, 2015 at 11:11 pm

    Then get them to tell us where it is? And note the word- ‘Might’

  2. mary August 21, 2015 at 8:54 am

    I always look forward to his latest claims . Of all the 100’s of wrecks on the western rocks , it must be the Romney?? I understood someone else had already found it

    • Todd Stevens August 23, 2015 at 9:37 am

      I look forward to the usual counter claims, like this one, that always turn out to be farcical at best. At least Im making the effort to go out there to look for it and not criticizing others efforts from my armchair at home!

      • mary August 24, 2015 at 11:36 am

        Very aggressive ! I actually took your advice from your more reasonable , earliier comment and was told that it is in Pednathaise Head .Maybe there are two of them ?

        • Todd Stevens August 24, 2015 at 8:17 pm

          Sorry- Mary? please forgive me- but I’m never happy conversing with anonymous people as the tactic is always used by those who either have an agenda and/or no courage of conviction. Regardless of that, I will take you as well meaning. No wreck at Pednathise head has ever been Identified as the Romney. The Gostello chart places the Romney in between the ‘Association’ lost at the Gilstone and the ‘Eagle’ (which is now known to be on Tearing Ledge) I see no reason to doubt that historical information. As that chart places Romney between Association and Eagle- I think it doubtful that any wreck at Pednathise will be Romney. Hence I ‘believe’ Romney to be lost at either Isaacs or Retarrier which are both between the other two wreck sites. I have been diving the remains of an English naval ship, with guns and artifacts, of a date of circa 1700 around Retarrier.

          By the way, a little while ago, I uncovered (and published) a chart by Simon Bayly, circa 1680, that shows the Royal Oak as being lost by Pednathise in 1665. Given the closeness in date between 1665 &1707- and without having the previous knowledge of the Bayly chart of which I had the privilege, it would be easy for those who came before me to have assumed the Royal oak site as being that of the Romney. I hope this makes things a little clearer. Both charts can now be found on line. One can only go by the evidence that presents itself to them. All the above supports my ‘theory’ and I stated nothing more than that.