Shonas Wrecks - Highland Brigade

This page is an entry in Shonas Wreck Guide.

Sketch of wreck today

The 'Highalnd Brigade' lies to the East of Ventnor, Isle of Wight in approx 28m of water, lying almost directly in line with the tide. Her stern section sits on its port side standing 6 or 7 meters proud of the shingle seabed, her midships lie collapsed to port, and her bow is more upright and intact.

Starting from the stern, the diver comes across a huge pile of chain within the wreck, with glass bottles and 6" shells scattered around the vacinity (a 6" 'Spatter Box' was recently found here). Moving forward from here, you can drop down into an area just under the deck beams, which contains Royal Doulton crucibles and smelting pot lids. Going through the deck beams onto the seabed will reward you with the site of the stern gun, which now lies partly burried in the shingle seabed.

Dummy 6-inch shell from stern
6-inch dummy shell from stern of wreck

moving forward inside the stern, you come across general cargo of stone beer bottles and glassware before the stern collapses down behind the engine room area. The engine can just be seen under the starboard hull plates which now lean over to port. It is possible to slip in here and swim around the engine and crankshaft without disturbing too much silt! From here, move forwards, swimming between 2 of the 3 Scotch type boilers and emerging in a very broken area to the front of the engine room. This area is littered with brass fittings and a number of portholes have been found here with haxagonal dogs (as well as brass doors on iron frames :-[ )

Moving fwd again, you come to the more intact bow section. Part of the cargo of the Highland Brigade was telephone equipment, and it is still possible to find candlestick telephones in the silt of the fwd holds. There are also numerous 'ingots' of antimony here, which look like thin silver bars with bevelled edges. The foredeck of the wreck contains a bronze hydrant with multiple hose take-offs.