Tearing Ledge detail

Menu: Site Background3D Site Plan | Dive Video | Site Detail

This page provides more detail about the wreck of the Eagle at the Tearing Ledge. The numbers represent the annotations on the 3D site plan.

1. The Tearing Ledge rock

Small rock in the sea with waves breaking over it
The Tearing Ledge breaks surface at low water

2. Bronze bell

The site was first discovered by divers working for Roland Morris in 1969. Excavation was undertaken by them in 1969 and 1970. They recovered a number of artefacts including a large bronze bell marked ‘1701’ and with a broad arrow. The bell is said to weigh 2 cwt (which is 224 lb or 101 kg). They also recovered gold and silver coins, gold rings and a navigation slate. The bell is now in the Isles of Scilly Museum but the current location of the other items is not known.

Black and white photograph showing two divers on the seabed, wearing light-coloured high visibility hoods. A ship’s bell sits between them, with a rope attached ready to lift the bell to the surface
Underwater photograph of the recovery of the bell by Roland Morris’s divers in 1969-1970
Shiny bronze bell with the date 1701 on its surface
The same bell from the Eagle now on display in the Isles of Scilly museum

3. Broken anchor

This is part of a broken anchor. Only the arms and flukes of the anchor remain – the shank of the anchor has become detached. A detached anchor shank lies on the seabed some 15 metres to the north.

Arms of an iron anchor sitting on a boulder strewn seabed.
Broken anchor crown

4. Group of cannon

Cast iron cannon lie in jumbled heaps over the seabed on the site. There are a total of nine guns in this cluster, which sits at the north-western edge of the site in almost 40m of water.

Iron cannon sitting on a rocky seabed. A diver swims above in the top left corner of the picture
Cast iron cannon lie in jumbled heaps over the seabed on the site

5. Pile of cannon

Here we can see four cast iron cannon lying in a jumbled heap. All the cannon on this site have been surveyed and measured by Peter McBride – you can read more about his work in Admiral Shovell’s Treasure by Peter McBride and Richard Larn

Group of iron cannon in a jumbled heap on a rocky seabed
Four cast iron cannon lying in a jumbled heap

6. Large bower anchor

This large iron anchor would have been one of four bower anchors carried at the bow of the ship. This anchor is 15 ft 8 inches (4.77m) long and 10 ft 6 inches (3.2m) across the flukes. The rope tied around one of the arms of the anchor was probably used in the past by divers to mark the site. There are also numerous corroded round shot (cannon balls) scattered on the seabed around this anchor.


Large iron anchor sitting on a rocky seabed with a diver swimming nearby
Bower anchor. This anchor is 15 ft 8 inches (4.77m) long and 10 ft 6 inches (3.2m) across the flukes.

7. Large iron guns

This group of four iron guns are the heaviest calibre guns on the site and are 9ft 9 inches (3m) long. They were identified as 32 pound guns by Peter McBride in his survey.

8. Stern chasers

These two cannon are exceptionally long and are thought to have been used as stern chasers on the ship. Stern chasers are guns mounted at the stern, facing backwards for use in a stern chase. They are 11ft (3.3m) and 11ft 6 inches (3.5m) in length. Interestingly, they are not of the same calibre – the shorter is thought to be a 6lb gun while the longer is a 24lb gun.

9. Group of cannon

A group of cannon at the south eastern end of the wreck site.

10. Guns north of the reef

This is a group of seven guns lying on the north side of the Tearing Ledge. Two of these guns are very long (11ft 6inches) 24 lb guns which may have been the bow chasers on the ship. There are also corroded round shot (cannon balls) to be seen on this part of the site.