Project Description

The figurehead is believed to come from the brig Samaritan, built in Great Yarmouth at the South Street yard of William Teasdell in 1840. She is listed in the Lloyds register as owned by Mr. Thomas merchant, and trading between Liverpool and Trieste.

She made her last voyage in 1846 outward bound from Liverpool for Alexandra, and was soon caught in a storm whilst still in the Irish Sea. Battling against a lee shore, she struck the Bedruthan Steps just South of Padstow in North Cornwall with the loss of her master, mate and seven of her nine crew. The morning after the wreck, her cargo of cotton, silks and brassware were strewn along the beach, to be gathered up by local villagers.

The Exeter and Plymouth Gazette reported on Saturday the 28th of November 1846 that; More than 20 persons have been summarily committed to Bodmin Gaol with hard labour from 3-5 months for plundering from the brig Samaritan, and her cargo, washed in by the seas, wrecked off St.Eval near Padstow during the late gales.

The figurehead, as often happens, was also washed ashore, and for many years has stood in the garden of a house overlooking Constantine Bay, along side the coastal path, where it has become something of a local landmark.

The passage of time at this exposed cliff side, have sadly taken their toll on the figure which has rotted beyond repair. This has necessitated the carving of a replacement, whilst sufficient sections of the original remain to create a faithful copy. She has now been returned to Constantine Bay, with an unveiling ceremony that included some rousing musical accompaniment from local shanty singers Kernow Bouys.