A Strange Place on the Welsh Coast, A Door in a Cave, Shipwrecks, & Gold Coins
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Thread: A Strange Place on the Welsh Coast, A Door in a Cave, Shipwrecks, & Gold Coins

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  1. #1

    Dec 2003
    Western Schuylkill County
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    A Strange Place on the Welsh Coast, A Door in a Cave, Shipwrecks, & Gold Coins

    Centre Democrat. (Bellefonte, Pa.), 15 March 1883.

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    https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/l...arRange&page=1
    KANACKI, BillA, grantler and 3 others like this.

  2. #2

    Mar 2015
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    Hello Jeff

    Thanks for the interesting article. I always love reading these treasure yarns. Yet they can be a lesson on how the context of things are exaggerated. The Author of newspaper article has merged 3 stories into one.

    Firstly the cave on Worms head is real and in fact there are several. The one they refer to with alleged door is in fact a colored rock face near the cave entrance is brownish from algae. Looking at a distance from at sea it looks like cave with a door? hence legends about a cave with a door? On northern side the outer Worms head there is blow hole. In very low tide you row a small boat into it the sea is calm. A good friend of mine when he was young feller explored over 488 caves along the welsh coast and Devon and Cornish coast. Looking for hidden smugglers loot in the late 1970's early 1980's

    Secondly The story of the gold coins?

    The shipwreck nicknamed the "Dollar Ship”, the precise details of which are lost in legend was shipwreck on beach further along the coast on the Gower peninsular. She may have been a Spanish vessel wrecked beyond the low tide line during the seventeenth century, possibly around the year 1660?

    At one time she was believed to have been carrying a vast treasure, the dowry of Catherine of Braganza, the Portuguese princess who came to England in 1661 to marry King Charles II, and who introduced the drinking of tea to Britain?

    In 1807 exceptional tides uncovered for a few hours part of a wreck beyond the low tide mark. This prompted a “gold rush” in west Gower, for Spanish coins from the early seventeenth century were uncovered. Over 12lbs in weight of Spanish dollars, half-dollars and pieces-of-eight were dug up, some coins dated 1625 and others 1639, from the time of King Philip IV of Spain - which would date that shipwreck after 1640.

    As the coins were Spanish dollars, any connection with the Portuguese Catherine of Braganza can be dismissed; anyhow she had sailed to Southampton through the English Channel, not the Bristol Channel, and there was no record of any dowry being lost?

    The Cambrian” newspaper of 7th March 1807 reported that the findings are conjectured to have formed part of the cargo of a rich Spanish vessel from South America, called the Scanderoon galley, which was wrecked on that part of the coast upwards of a century since.

    Though the tide came in and the sands closed over the site, there was a similar “gold rush” again in 1833, when C.R.M. Talbot of Penrice waived his right as lord of the manor to the finds, so some local people had a windfall. Rev. William Griffiths, Lady Barham’s minister at Cheriton Chapel, commented on the enthusiasm with which people hastened to the beach to seek gold coins, while being unconcerned about seeking spiritual riches.

    Besides coins being uncovered, there were also lead bullets, pewter, and part of an astrolabe (an old navigational instrument). According to Rev. J.D. Davies, who recounts legends as well as actual history in his “History of West Gower”, two iron cannon were also recovered, and mounted in the garden of Richard Helme at Hillend.

    But the facts remains coins from the mystery shipwreck was recovered on two occasions. The identity of the shipwreck in not conclusive.

    Thirdly the other story is legend of the lord of Dunraven castle even further down the coast was secretly engaging in wrecking of ships in the Bristol channel. He would with lanterns lure ships to sail onto rocks and plunder them and murder survivors. He had done this for many years and had become very rich and powerful. But he had his come comeuppance came when finally he wrecked ship carrying a ship with his only son coming back from America. And when he went plunder a bloated corpse by the shore he turned him over and discovered it was his son.

    So you have 2 unrelated factual locations and stories mixed with legends presented in a way as if they part of some thing else.

    Some thing to be aware of when reading into these newspaper stories.

    Kanacki

  3. #3
    cr
    May 2005
    Drake, Costa Rica
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    great post

    Bill

  4. #4

    Mar 2015
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    Here is picture of Worm's head below.

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    Here is close up of the entrance. Below



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    Kanacki
    Last edited by KANACKI; Apr 19, 2019 at 09:43 AM.

  5. #5
    Charter Member

    Jan 2004
    near munich
    Goldpic,XP ,
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    There is this little book called " The Gower Coast" by George Edmunds ,from 1979 and it menition´s the Worms Head Cave and the "Dollar Ship " Story´s
    Including a map of the Coastline with caves , Churches and Curiosities, plenty of photos as well
    Have a nice eastern
    grantler

  6. #6

    Mar 2015
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    Quote Originally Posted by grantler View Post
    There is this little book called " The Gower Coast" by George Edmunds ,from 1979 and it menition´s the Worms Head Cave and the "Dollar Ship " Story´s
    Including a map of the Coastline with caves , Churches and Curiosities, plenty of photos as well
    Have a nice eastern
    grantler
    Hello Bill and Grantler Quite an interesting book. Some amazing little gems hidden in nooks and crannies along the Gower coast there.

    This old medieval dovecote built hidden away among the cliffs below is another.

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    Inside a little disappointing but you niches where pigeons used to roost. Back in the olden days pigeons was source of food.

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    Kanacki

  7. #7

    Mar 2015
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    Here is coin reputed to be from the coins found in 1833 all in poor condition as seas have pounded them like well worn peoples.

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    They was found on part of beach called Diles Dike allegedly coins can still be found during the lowest tides of year after a big storm. Apparently I do not know if its true or not the fun police prohibits detecting on beach? Or rumors spreed by other detectors to stop their hunting ground being flooded with detectors during summer? However I find it unusual because usually in UK they are quite liberal about metal detecting.

    Here is the beach below. Diles dike is about two thirds up the beach. Worms head is the point in the distance. there is the remains of a wooden shipwreck in the for ground unrelated to the dollar ship.

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    Kanacki

  8. #8

    Dec 2003
    Western Schuylkill County
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    Thanks ! Interesting Additions & Corrections

  9. #9

    Mar 2015
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    Hello All

    Poking around the coast does have it rewards on occasion.

    Derek Eveleigh, 79, kept one of Wales’ biggest ever Roman coin discoveries under wraps after finding two buried pots in a sheep-filled field at Sully island, Vale of Glamorgan in 2008. The pots contained nearly 6,000 copper alloy coins worth £55,000. The metal detectorist told no-one about his discovery until the coins were declared as treasure months later.

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    That's is about 71000 USD. Not quite pirate treasure but for 71000 grand I would be willing to make allowances.

    Kanacki

  10. #10
    cr
    May 2005
    Drake, Costa Rica
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    Kanacki, the newer English laws are producing a non-stop succession of magnificent finds from MDers
    The History Blog has some in-depth writeups

    Bill

  11. #11
    us
    Aug 2018
    SW Missouri
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    This puzzles me. The remains of Old Castle at Worm's Head.
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    A 1887 shipwreck. The Helvetia.

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    Worm's Head sunset
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    You may forget but let me tell you this: someone in some future time will think of us-Sappho

  12. #12

    Mar 2015
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    Hello Hillbilly Prince really great photographs.

    The 1887 shipwreck Helvetia was vessel carrying timber that was run aground and wreck. Gee these photographs must be fairly recent as it seems more of the wreck has disappeared.

    The castle on Worms Head was I believe an earlier Iron age fort. In short an embankment with wooden palisade around it with one entrance and a cluster of circle wood huts with turf roofs. A bit like a tepee. All over the UK you can see find traces of Iron age remains. Wales is no different. Further down the coast from worms head is a place called Burry Holmes from memory? There is small headland with Iron age settlements and another fort. In times of crisis people would retreat with animals behind the palisade from maundering war parties. At the time of these constructions the whole island was divided up into small petty chiefdom's in constant war with their neighbors. However that is one small part of pre Roman Britain that was supplanted by Roman occupation.

    In one of caves of Worms head the remains of neolithic man. Bristol channel at the time of his burial never existed it was just large plain with a river running through it. So wander around the coast there is you know to looking is like traveling on time machine.

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    The nearest medieval Castle, I think a Norman motte and bailey castle but some time after 1066 possibly 12th century for Norman lords that carved out estates in South Wales. Is at three cliffs bay. I recall from memory I could be wrong it is next to golf course? It overlooks a small valley running down to the beach.

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    Kanacki
    Last edited by KANACKI; Apr 20, 2019 at 07:59 PM.

  13. #13

    Mar 2015
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    Hello again here is pictures of old Iron age fort on-the hump of Worms head

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    Kanacki

  14. #14
    us
    Aug 2018
    SW Missouri
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    Quote Originally Posted by KANACKI View Post
    Hello again here is pictures of old Iron age fort on-the hump of Worms head

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    Kanacki
    Here is where I found the pics. I imagine a lot of relics could be found around the old forts.
    Worm's Head 2008
    Rebel - KGC and KANACKI like this.
    You may forget but let me tell you this: someone in some future time will think of us-Sappho

  15. #15

    Mar 2015
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    hello Hillbilly Prince.

    Most likely but one cannot detect inside a designated historic monument. But detecting area around the monument is no problem as long as your 36 metres away. Further down the coast in West Wales Pembroke shire. Mike Smith found....

    An iron age chariots burial. Very rare because he followed the correct procedures of reporting a find. The Museum of Wales is paying him a six figure sum under potable antiquities scheme.

    So The Museum of Wales will get an amazing historic artifact. And the finders gets money for a new house?

    https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-wales-47072503

    How cool is that?

    Kanacki
    BillA, Ryano, Rebel - KGC and 1 others like this.

 

 

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