"The Sorrento"

The Sorrento came ashore at Porth Ty Mawr on a stormy night in October of 1870. But unlike the "Stuart" thirty years later there was loss of life. In the raging storm one man tied a rope around his waist and tried to swim ashore. But he was overcome by the huge seas and drowned. She was an American three masted sailing vessel, and was on her way from Liverpool to New Orleans with a full load of cargo including railwaySorrento_Drws.JPG (73404 bytes) iron, porcelain, crates of spirits and wine, the crew tried desperately to save the ship even to the point of cutting her masts down but it was all in vain, and she struck the rocks with a Thunderous roar. The crew waited for the tide to go out then walked to the nearest house, Ty Mawr, but their reception was not what they expected. At that point in history the people of  Llyn were under the illusion of an Irish invasion. So when a bunch of wet and bedraggled foreigners knock on your door in the middle of a stormy night, you do tend to over react !!!! The gun was out of the cupboard in a flash, but luck was on the side of the "enemy", and apart from some bruised egos, and the lady of the house that tried to escape through a bedroom window, order was restored. To overcome the language barrier the Americans used a match box with three matches sticking out of the lid, then ran the box along the table and smashed it against the wall. The penny dropped, and the rest as they say is history. Suffice to say the homes of Llyn got a fresh supply of crockery, and the "Yanks" went back to Liverpool to try again.

"Stained glass from the Captains cabin door"



Lloyd's List October 1870

"The Sorrento"

14/10/1870 Lloyd’s List Nevin. Part of the cargo (railway iron and earthenware) may be saved from the 'Sorrento', Liverpool to New Orleons, ashore at Porth Golmon. The vessel is likely to become a total wreck.

15/10/1870 Lloyd’s List Liverpool 14th Oct. The 'Sorrento', hence to New York is  ashore, masts cut away, between Bardsey and Pwllheli, Cardigan Bay. The crew of the 'Sorrento' were all saved, except one man missing. The master and officers remain at the wreck to save what is possible.

18/10/1870 Lloyd’s List The 'Sorrento', ashore at Nevin, lies exposed to north-west winds on the rocks with bottom out and cargo gone from lower hold. Railway iron dropped on the rocks. Wreck will dry out at low-water spring tides.

21/10/1870 Lloyd’s List The wreck of the 'Sorrento', hence to New Orleans, ashore at Nevin with all the cargo on board, except the railway iron and steel is advertised by the Master for sale on the 25th October.

29/10/1870 Caernarvon & Denbigh Herald -- Late Gales and Wrecks . The 'Sorrento', Captain Wilson, owner Captain Wilson, New York, has become a total wreck at Porth Colmon, eastward of Bardsey Island. Her bottom was knocked out. She was loaded with railway iron and crates of spirits and wine, much of which has been thrown onto the rocks. She was under the command of a local pilot at the time.


Thanks to Mr Chris Holden

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