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The Jeune Hortense


Yesterday afternoon, we took the opportunity of the low tide to stretch our legs and walk along the longrock beach in Penzance. Despite a strong wind and a grey sky, the air was relatively pleasant. After only a few hundred yards, we were surprised to find that the skeleton of the “Jeune Hortence” had resurfaced again from the sand that had kept her safe for almost 130 years. The first time I had heard of her was after the heavy storms of St Valentin’s day in 2014 had destroyed most of the coastline around Penzance and moved tones and tones of sand away. Luckily, nothing of that magnitude this year but still the tide did a good job at unburying the remains of this brig.

The Jeune Hortense was swept to shore on May 1888 while she was trying to land the body of a man who had died in France and was grounded on Longrock’s beach in Mount’s bay. All the attempts by the Penzance lifeboat to re-float the boat were proved unsuccessful and the ship was abandoned and eventually broken up and use for firewood or else.


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