Civil War Wreck Discovered Off St Mary’s

A cannon found by Todd Stevens.

A cannon found by Todd Stevens.

A St Mary’s diver says he may have found the wreck of one of the frigates that changed the course of the Civil War in Scilly.

Todd Stevens has found 17th century weapons and anchors on a previously unrecorded wreck in shallow water at Doctors Keys.

And Todd believes it’s one of the two Royalist ships that protected St Mary’s and prevented the Parliamentarian, Admiral Blake, from taking Scilly’s largest island, even after his forces had captured Tresco.

The ships were recorded as being wrecked near the Garrison during a storm on 10th May 1651.

The disaster left the way open for the Parliamentarians to take the whole of Scilly, and therefore gain a tactical advantage in the war that they eventually went on to win.

Todd says the identity of the two ships that were wrecked has always been a mystery, because the Royalist losses weren’t recorded well at the time.

They were described as their “two best frigates” so probably had at least 20 guns each, says Todd.

The wreck he’s found doesn’t have that number of cannons, but that could have been because the wreck was in shallow water, around 2-4 meters in depth, which means it was probably salvaged at the time.

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