The City of Bristol

Breaching the famous surf of the Llangennith Sands, Gower, are the bulky remains of the 210 ton paddle steamer 'City of Bristol.'

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On November 17th, 1840, on her homeward bound trip from Waterford, Ireland, to Bristol, the ship encountered an horrendous storm which drove it landward. Mistaking the islet of Burry Holmes for Worm's Head, the ship turned into what the crew thought was the Bristol Channel. Instead, the vessel drove into Rhossili Bay where it ground into the sands a little north of Dile's Lake (the stream dividing Rhossili Bay from Llangennith).

Turning broadside onto the shore by the pounding Atlantic Ocean, the steamer broke apart just after midnight, spilling its contents of seventeen crew, seven passengers, eighteen cattle, one hundred pigs and six hundred sacks of oats into the foaming tide.

Of its crew and passengers, only two made it ashore alive - the ship's carpenter and a cattleman (who only managed to save himself by clinging on to the tail of one of the very few cattle to make it onto the beach alive).

The wreck of the 'City of Bristol ' resulted in the worst loss of life of any of the numerous shipwrecks of Rhossili and Llangennith. The remains of the ship are still visible at low tide but never fully escape the grip of the tide for a thorough examination.

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