HMS Colossus: debris field survey 2004

HMS Colossus, a 74-gun 3rd rate ship-of-the-line, was built in 1787 and wrecked off Samson in the Isles of Scilly only eleven years later on 10th December 1798. Colossus was involved in a number of famous naval actions including Groix and Cape St Vincent. She was returning to England with wounded from Nelson’s Battle of the Nile when wrecked. On board at the time was part of Sir William Hamilton’s second collection of Greek funerary pottery; Sir William Hamilton was the husband of Emma Hamilton, Nelson’s mistress.

Service history of HMS Colossus

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This project has been facilitated by a grant from LHI which is a partnership between the Heritage Lottery Fund, Nationwide Building Society and the Countryside Agency.

Read the diving diary


HMS Colossus stern quarter gallery

Project outline
ADU magnetometer survey
Wessex Archaeology survey
Project methodology
The targets
Targets investigated
Targets identified
Plan of the targets identified
Summary of anomalies investigated
Anomalies yet to be investigated
The photographs
Appendix 1 -Magnetic anomaly graphs
Appendix 11 -Colossus debris field survey - diver record sheet