direct to content


stepping stones of maritime history


Remains of an early 17th century wreck, probably of a Dutch East Indiaman, on Low Lee Ledges, as evidenced by fragments of timber hull and scattered VOC (Dutch East India Company) bricks, clay pipes and iron shot. At least one iron cannon remained in situ when investigated in 1998; two dozen bronze guns were recovered in 1910 by divers investigating the nearby wreck of the PRIMROSE (see 919198 for the possible remains of the PRIMROSE). One of these cannon is said to remain in front of the public library in Penzance. In this offshore position the vessel is likely to have struck the Low Lee Ledges before foundering."

The site was first discovered in 1910 by divers from the Western Marine Salvage Company who were salvaging the PRIMROSE. They recovered two dozen bronze guns which probably went for scrap: one, however, stands outside the former public library in Penzance [see source (6) below]. One was presented to the local council, [possibly the library cannon?] Sport divers have known of the site for some time and quantities of iron shot, Dutch bricks, clay pipes and other artefacts are said to have been recovered over the years. The site was also used as an example by the late Keith Muckelroy in his site formation classification system.



The evidence suggests that an early 17th century vessel or vessels, one probably a Dutch East Indiaman, were lost on the site. Its remains have been badly disturbed by early 20th century salvage and recent diver activity, although attempts are now being made to record investigations by a small group of local divers. The site is probably too disturbed to be a strong candidate for designation.

ADU 1998. (3)

Seen to be located close NW of the PRIMROSE in 10m; position unreliable. A large Spanish cannon raised from Low Lee in October 1916 may have come from a West Indiaman wrecked there on 02-DEC-1771 (Cornish Shipwrecks).


Down on 24 April

New in MaSS

Wrecks of Flevoland

Burgzand Noord

13 Provinces