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19th century Sailing Ship off Castle Cornet in Guernsey by Dennis Melling

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19th century Sailing Ship off Castle Cornet in Guernsey by 

This is my original graphite pencil sketch of a sailing ship heading for the safe harbour of St Peter Port in Guernsey, before the storm breaks. In Winter the weather, currents and tides here can be absolutely frightening.

I know because I was caught here in the Winter of 1999, single handing in my small yacht and my planned 1 week transit of the area was extended to many weeks of much stress and back breaking effort.

During this time I was caught out in a storm and spent 41 hours, at the helm, before I was able to make landfall.

Castle Cornet was originally built in the 13th century and withstood many major wars which involved repairs and modifications throughout it’s history.

Original graphite pencil sketch.

In 1672 gunpowder kept in the Donjon exploded during a thunderstorm. The explosion killed seven people including the young wife and the mother of the Governor, Lord Hatton. It destroyed the Tower, Chapel and Governor`s residences, greatly altering the appearance of the Castle and from that time, no Governor has lived here. Many artefacts were buried in the rubble of the explosion, some of which are on display in the ‘Story of Castle Cornet’ Museum. A facsimile of part of Lady Cecilia Hatton’s will, the wife of the Governor, is also exhibited. Poignantly, it was written in Castle Cornet only six months before she died and her bequests reveal a gentle, caring nature.

The last time that the castle was modified was during the German occupation in WW2, when it was called the ‘Hafenschlosss’ (harbour Castle) from 1940 until 1945. The occupying forces built air raid shelters and platforms for anti aircraft guns to update the Castle for 20th century warfare

I have opened a shop with CafePress to sell some of my designs on clothing, iPhone & laptop cases, jewellery and lots more:

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  • Sue Nichol
    Sue Nicholalmost 4 years ago

    Superb drawing, Dennis

  • Thank you Sue :)
    I finished this drawing just 1 hour ago.

    – Dennis Melling

  • AndreaEL
    AndreaELalmost 4 years ago

    Beautiful work Dennis

  • Many thanks Andrea I have personal knowledge (I just added this to the description) of the bad weather in this area and tried to make my drawing reflect the captain’s need to get his ship in the harbour before the storm hits.
    I ‘was’ caught in a very bad storm and was at the helm of my yacht for 41 hours before I could make landfall (very frightening).

    – Dennis Melling

  • Val Saxby
    Val Saxbyalmost 4 years ago


  • Very many thanks, Val the feature is much appreciated :)
    Best wishes

    – Dennis Melling

  • RickDavis
    RickDavisalmost 4 years ago

    Love the way you have presented this wonderful image,,,great job Dennis,,,Eick

  • Many thanks :)
    Your comments are appreciated :)

    – Dennis Melling

  • Kornrawiee
    Kornrawieealmost 4 years ago

    Great composition and dreamy art, I take time to consider, thank you to share:)
    Tell your family members, you love them—life is too short as we know…
    Beat regards,

  • Many thanks :)
    Your comments are always welcome.

    – Dennis Melling

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