Home / Accueil

Wreck of HMS Breadalbane National Historic Site of Canada

Beechey Island, Nunavut, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1983/06/13

General view of the helm from HMS Breadalbane.; Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada
General view of the helm
No Image
No Image

Other Name(s)

Wreck of HMS Breadalbane
Wreck of HMS Breadalbane National Historic Site of Canada
NSM Breadalbane

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1843/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2010/01/12

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Wreck of HMS Breadalbane National Historic Site of Canada is located off Beechey Island, Nunavut well above the Arctic Circle and is the most northerly known shipwreck. The site is comprised of the wreckage of HMS Breadalbane, a 19th-century, 500-ton sailing ship, including the hull, fragments of the vessel and the debris field caused by the sinking of the ship. The shipwreck is also a component of Beechey Island Sites National Historic Site of Canada. The designation refers to the shipwreck itself and the debris field that surrounds it.

Heritage Value

Wreck of HMS Breadalbane was designated a national historic site of Canada in 1983 because:
- the ship was involved in the search for Captain John Franklin’s lost expedition.

HMS Breadalbane was built in 1843 in a shipyard on the Clyde River in Scotland. It spent the first few years of its existence as a merchant vessel, travelling as far as Calcutta. After the disappearance of Sir John Franklin’s expedition, which was searching for the Northwest Passage, HMS Breadalbane was pressed into service by the British Admiralty to supply the vessels which were exploring the Arctic waters in search of Franklin and his crew. It left the Thames River in 1853, accompanying HMS Phoenix, and arrived at the rallying point for the search parties at Beechey Island later that year. However, the Arctic weather did not co-operate and HMS Breadalbane soon found itself surrounded by slow-moving yet implacable pack ice. The ship was quickly emptied of as many supplies and personal effects as possible. On the night of August 20-21, the ice finally broke through the hull, sinking HMS Breadalbane to the floor of Barrow Strait.

Source: Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, Minutes, July 2007.

Character-Defining Elements

Key elements contributing to the heritage value of this site include:
- its location well above the Arctic Circle within Beechey Island Sites National Historic Site of Canada in Nunavut;
- the underwater archaeological remains of the ship, including the hull, fragments of the vessel and the surrounding debris field;
- the integrity of any surviving or as yet unidentified archaeological remains associated with the wreck, which may be found within the site in their original placement and extent, including all remains of a navigational or personal nature.

Recognition

Jurisdiction

Federal

Recognition Authority

Government of Canada

Recognition Statute

Historic Sites and Monuments Act

Recognition Type

National Historic Site of Canada

Recognition Date

1983/06/13

Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

1853/01/01 to 1853/01/01

Theme - Category and Type

Developing Economies
Trade and Commerce

Function - Category and Type

Current

Historic

Transport-Water
Vessel

Architect / Designer

n/a

Builder

n/a

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

National Historic Sites Directorate, Documentation Centre, 5th Floor, Room 89, 25 Eddy Street, Gatineau, Quebec

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier

11250

Status

Published

Related Places

n/a

SEARCH THE CANADIAN REGISTER

Advanced SearchAdvanced Search
Find Nearby PlacesFIND NEARBY PLACES PrintPRINT
Nearby Places