Alex! My daughter, ‘running aground’ on Minerstown beach ,Dundrum Bay, Co Down, in the shadows of the famous Mournes. We were enjoying a family fun Sunday with my sister inlaw’s horses who just love the gallops and swimming .
Dundrum Bay .. infamous for it’s many shipwrecks ,sunk and run aground, since the first boats reached Ireland thousands of years ago. Probably the most famous was the SS Great Brittain, run hard aground at this very spot.
SS Great Britain was an advanced passenger steamship designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel for the Great Western Steamship Company’s transatlantic service between Bristol and New York. While other ships had previously been built of iron or equipped with a screw propeller, Great Britain was the first to combine these features in a large ocean-going ship. She was the first screw steamer to cross the Atlantic, which she did in 1845, in the then-record time of 14 days (one day faster than the previous record holder, the SS Great Western).
In her second season of service in 1846, Great Britain successfully completed two round trips to New York and back at an acceptable speed, but was then laid up again, for repairs to one of her chain drums which showed an unexpected degree of wear. Embarking on her third passage of the season to New York, Great Britain’s captain made a series of navigational errors mistaking the Calf light of the Isle of Man for the new St Johns point lighthouse on the outward tip of Dundrum bay which resulted in the ship being run hard aground and stuck fast There was no formal inquiry but it has been recently suggested that it was mainly due to the captain not having updated charts.
The vessel remained aground for almost a year, protected by temporary measures organized by old Isambard himself. In August 1847, she was finally floated free at a cost of £34,000 and taken back to Liverpool, but this final expense exhausted the company’s remaining reserves. After languishing at the North Dock for some time, Great Britain, completed only a few years earlier at a cost of £117,000, was sold to Gibbs, Bright & Co., former agents of the Great Western Steamship Company, for a mere £25,000. (More history from Wiki)
As with all of the coastline of Northern Ireland it’s managed by the National Trust.