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stepping stones of maritime history


Built: yard admiralty of Amsterdam, 1783
Owner: Admiralty Amsterdam
Dimensions: 167,5 x 49 9/11 x 20,5 vt
Armament: 68

The Holland was trying to enter False Bay with a fleet of warships when she struck a reef on the evening of 11 May and became a total wreck. Reportedly, the Holland wrecked in roughly the same location at which another ship, the Napoleon, was lost.

Eight lives were lost when the Holland wrecked.

MasterW Silvester
People on board450
Length167.5 feet (51.1 m)
Width169.8 feet (51.8 m)
Draft20.5 feet (6.2 m)


This site has not been extensively salvaged but several salvage divers have visited the site and removed a small number of items from the wreck. According to interviews with salvagers, the wreck is located near Olifantsbos. The salvage divers identified the wreck as the Holland due to the large number of cannons, cannon balls and muzzleloaders among the wreckage. However, no further work has been done to locate or make a conclusive identification of this wreck.

Some of the material that had been removed from this site was later recovered by SAHRA during a wreck amnesty in the early 1990s

-Copper Powder Monkey salvaged from the Holland.


  • Nederlands Instituut Militaire Historie.
  • Lesa la Grange, Martijn Manders, Briege Williams, John Gribble and Leon Derksen (2024).
    Dutch Shipwrecks in South African Waters: A Brief History of Sites, Stores and Archives [Unpublished].
  • SAHRA Database.

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