Westcountry Wrecks

The jagged coastline, treacherous waters and wild weather of the Westcountry has results in difficult conditions, past and present, and it’s thought there are over 5000 shipwrecks in the region. Visitors to the Shipwreck Museum can explore some artefacts from the wreckages and discover how they met their fate.


With over 3000 wrecks around the Cornish Coast and around 1600 lying beneath waves of Devon’s north and south coastlines, it’s visible to see how seafarers have struggled with the notoriously difficult sailing environment. It is estimated that there are as many as 655 wrecks around the Isles of Scilly alone!

In 1917, the RMS Medina, formally a temporary Royal Yacht to George V, was sunk when she was hit by a torpedo off Start Point, Devon. Lost with the ship were the personal belongings of Lord and Lady Carmichael along with their collection of art accumulated during their time in Bengal where Lord Carmichael served as Governor.

The S.S. Mohegan which was lost off the Lizard in 1898 was full steam ahead when she hit the Manacles. It is not known what caused this to happen.

The English East Indiaman, Admiral Gardner was wrecked on the Goodwin Sands in 1809. An intact barrel of coins, the only one of its kind in the world, was recovered and is now on display in the Shipwreck Museum. 

These are just a few examples of the wrecks which are depicted in the Shipwreck Museum which holds the largest private collection of shipwreck and historical artefacts on public display in Europe with over 8,000 artefacts from 150 shipwrecks.


Head over to our Westcountry Wrecks blog post where we detail some of the shipwrecks of which artefacts are included in the collection and uncover stories from Cornishmen and Devonshire folk when you visit the Shipwreck Museum.

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Shipwreck Treasure Museum, Quay Road, Charlestown, St. Austell, Cornwall PL25 3NJ
01726 69897