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The loss of HMS Invincible and reconstructed weather patterns, 15-17 March 1801


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  • Location: Camborne
  • Location: Camborne

    The churchyard of St. Mary the Virgin at Happisburgh (pronounced Haisbro), a coastal village in north-east Norfolk, contains the

    remains of many mariners who have lost their lives off this dangerous stretch of the county’s coast. Beyond low cliffs and sandy beaches lies a treacherous area of sandbanks and ridges known as Haisbro Sand, Hammond’s Knoll, Winterton Ridge and Smith’s Knoll. The 110 ft (34m) high fifteenth-century tower of St. Mary’s (Fig. 1) has been as important a landmark as the lighthouse, half a mile (800m) to the south, in giving warning of the offshore shoal area that for centuries has been a hazard to shipping particularly when storms, fogs and fast-running tides have occurred. Countless wrecks lie buried there and many of the drowned victims have been washed ashore by the ensuing flood tides. A large grassy mound to the north of the church marks the mass grave of at least 119 men out of approximately 400 crew who died when HMS Invincibe (third rate 74 guns) was wrecked on Hammond’s Knoll on 16 March 1801 and sank the following day (Hayes 1985).



    Edited by knocker
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