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Wreck of HEREWARD at Maroubra beach

Date: 1898
Medium: Emulsion on glass
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Bruce Stannard
Classification:Photographs
Object Name: Glass plate negative
Object No: 00002496
Place Manufactured:Maroubra

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    Description
    Curious public and potential salvagers watch as the grounded HEREWARD lists alarmingly to port in heavy seas off Maroubra Beach.
    SignificanceThe Hall photographic collection provides an important pictorial record of maritime activity in and around Sydney Harbour from the 1890s to the 1930s. The collection documents major maritime events such as the grounding of HEREWARD at Maroubra in 1898 as well as the lively sailing scene in Sydney during this period. Images of the many spectators and crowds who supported and followed the sailing races are also included in this visual record.
    HistoryThe HEREWARD was a full rigged iron clipper ship built in Glasgow in 1877 and traded frequently between London and Sydney with general cargo. However, it is best known for being wrecked on Maroubra Beach in May 1898.

    The HEREWARD left the Dutch East Indies port of Surabaya bound for Newcastle where it was to load with coal for South America. On 5 May 1898 it encountered fierce storms off the New South Wales coast and was forced ashore by the heavy winds - with the sails reportedly ripped to shreds in the gale force conditions. The ship ended up on soft sand at the northern end of Maroubra Beach and was lucky to have avoided two rocky reefs. The crew of 25 made it safely ashore and alerted the authorities of the accident.

    The wreck was stranded on the beach and the owners decided to sell it as salvage. Insured for 6,000 pounds, it was sold for 550. The new owner tried to refloat the ship and almost succeeded but each time it ended up back on the beach and by December 1898 wave action had broken it in two.

    The following decades saw all viable pieces removed - by salvagers, treasure hunters and the sea and sand - until in 1937 only a small bit remained above the waterline. In 1950, 1965 and again in 1966 the remnants were blasted away.

    In March 2013, heavy seas uncovered remains of the HEREWARD wreck on the seafloor at Maroubra. During subsequent salvage operations, maritime archaeologists from the Office of Environment and Heritage recovered a 1.17m long rare bronze cannon from the site.

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