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Kilspindie, wrecks of eight fishing boats 240m east of

A Scheduled Monument in North Berwick Coastal, East Lothian

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Coordinates

Latitude: 56.0127 / 56°0'45"N

Longitude: -2.8682 / 2°52'5"W

OS Eastings: 345968

OS Northings: 680311

OS Grid: NT459803

Mapcode National: GBR 2N.T3LM

Mapcode Global: WH7TP.X4CF

Entry Name: Kilspindie, wrecks of eight fishing boats 240m E of

Scheduled Date: 11 December 2002

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM10471

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Secular: shipwreck

Location: Aberlady

County: East Lothian

Electoral Ward: North Berwick Coastal

Traditional County: East Lothian

Description

The monument comprises the rare remains of eight sailing fishing vessels, dating from the late 19th to the early 20th century. The wrecks lie on inter-tidal mudflats on the S foreshore of Aberlady Bay, some 240m E of Kilspindie, within the Aberlady Bay Nature Reserve.

The eight wrecks are described as follows:

Hulk 1: NT 46063 80293 (+/-10m)

This wreck is approximately 17.3 m long and its hull is carvel built. It lies on its port side, where the ballast stones have pinned down and preserved 17 frames in situ and the keel. The remains are heavily coated in seaweed, but areas of lower planking are indicated. Concrete has been poured in between the frames and deadwood at the stern, which practice often indicates a repair to an ageing hull in the early 20th century. Two fragments of the ship's rudder lie slightly away from the wreck to the SE; the estimated complete rudder length is 2.4m. The frames are heavily degraded but the average frame spacing is c.46cm. Lying in close association is a coil of rigging wire with an eye splice.

Hulk 2: NT 45971 80343 (+/-11m)

This wreck is approximately 18.75 m long and lies on a mud bank slightly above the general level of the surrounding mudflats. The hulk is heavily covered in seaweed, but comprises the sides of a craft that have collapsed outwards. The upper bulwark is visible along the S edge. The fragmentary remains of the rudder lie slightly disassociated at the W end of the wreck, suggesting that this is the stern. The deadwood of the bow survives at the E end. The lowest section of the hull is pinned under the ballast stones, but 15 frames are still visible on the starboard side and 12 on the port. One of the lower frames or futtocks has been washed out of position and lies on the surface. The hull is carvel built and fastened with iron. The frame spacing averages 33cm.

Hulk 3: NT 45973 80271 (+/- 13m)

This wreck is approximately 14m long and lies on its port side. The visible remains comprise 7 upstanding frames and the keel pinned under a mound of ballast stones. The hull is carvel built. A fragment of the rudder lies to the E, disassociated from the main hulk. An area of extant planking survives to the N of the ballast mound, together with components of a frame (upper and lower futtock). The average frame spacing is 38cm.

Hulk 4: NT 45960 803289 (+/- 11m)

This wreck is approximately 16.75m long and lies on its starboard side. The visible remains comprise 23 upstanding frames attached to the keel, the stem post and deadwood pinned under a mound of ballast stones. Various sections of frames (or futtocks) have either collapsed or washed eastwards. The stem post contains one of the few visible rigging fittings still present: an iron ring bolt and cable. The deadwood still contains the lowest rudder pintle. A second area of ballast lies near the stern post. The hull is carvel built and a portion of the starboard side has survived, in a coherent form, pinned under the ballast. The outer planking is 20cm in width, while the average frame spacing is 30cm.

Hulk 5: NT 45930 80317 (+/-13m)

This wreck is approximately 18m long and lies on its port side. The remains are substanbtial, with much of the starboard side coherent and lying under a light covering of silt. Most noticeable are the upstanding frames still attached to the keel pinned under the ballast mound. Towards the stern, concrete has been poured between the frames. The rudder lies in association with the stern post. The stem retains iron rigging fittings. Sections of frames have been washed out of position to the SE. The average frame spacing is 30cm.

Hulk 6: NT 45911 80305 (+/- 14m)

This wreck is approximately 17m long and lying on its port side. The visible remains comprise upstanding frames attached to the keel pinned under the ballast stones. A run of garboard strake disappears into the ballast mound. The scantlings of the keel are 30cm deep by 25cm wide. The scantlings of the frames are approximately 14cm moulded breadth by 10 cm wide. The average frame spacing is 31cm. The depth from the keel to the top of the rider is 40cm. The stern post stands upright and retains its lower rudder pintle. An area of coherent planking lies close to the bow and stem post remains. The planking is 13cm wide. Sections of frames have washed away to the NE.

Hulk 7: NT 45908 80319 (+/-12m)

This hulk is approximately 17.25m long and lies on its port side. The visible remains comprise 7 upstanding frames attached to the keel pinned under a ballast mound. The first run of the garboard strake is also extant in places. The average frame spacing is 30cm. The protecting iron sheath for the forefoot stands proud of the silt at the bow (N end of the site).

Hulk 8: NT 45877 80338 (+/- 14m)

This wreck is approximately 18m long and is interpreted as lying on its port side. The visible remains comprise 19 upstanding frames still attached to the keel pinned under ballast stones. The moulded depth of the frames is 13cm. The average frame spacing is 30cm. The stern post lies to the S and retains one of its rudder pintels. A long timber interpreted as an upper bulwark lies to the E of the main axis of the keel, with a scatter of misplaced frames in between. Two areas of planking are exposed towards the bow, suggesting that perhaps a substantial portion of the port side may be preserved in the silt. The protecting iron sheath for the forefoot stands proud of the silt at the bow (S of the site).

The area proposed for scheduling comprises the individual wrecks and an area around them within which related material may be expected to be found. It is a rounded lozenge in shape, measuring 233m WNW-ESE by 110m N-S, as marked in red on the accompanying map.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The wrecks are of national importance as a rare survival of the types of craft which were once the lifeblood of Scotland's fishing industry. Fewer than 20 surviving Scottish craft from this period are known, of a fleet which once numbered thousands. These vessels represent the final development form of the sailing fishing boat and are a 'time capsule' of late 19th-century marine engineering. The hulks are currently relatively well-preserved by the covering sediments and ballast stones. The wrecks have the potential to contribute to an understanding of the economic and social impact of late 19th-and early 20th-century fishing in Scotland. Their importance is increased by their group value and by their historical associations.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Sources

Bibliography

RCAHMS: NT 48 SE 8003 and 8009

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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