Diamond ? (1823 - 1825)

Between 2002 and 2009, MADU were invited by Cadw to dive and investigate the wreck of a vessel that had been designated under the Protection of Wrecks Act (1973).  The wreck in question was thought to possibly be that of the Diamond, a twin deck, three masted sqaure rigger that had been built in New York in 1823 and was lost on 2nd January 1825 when she hit the Sarn Badrig Reef (St. Patrick's Causeway) between Barmouth and Harlech in Cardigan Bay.

The task we set ourself was to compare and contrast what we could find underwater with what was known about the Diamond, and by analysing our findings determine whether the wreck on the site was likely to be that of the Diamond or not.    

Year Licence  Description of Work
2002 Survey Initial site familiarisation, investigation and research into the history of the Diamond.
2003  Survey   2-week project to record and survey the site incorporating 28-divers and 4-boats. 
2004 Excavation & Recovery   Recovery of sheathing & timber samples in conjunction with Wessex Archaeology's acoustic survey of the site. 
2005  Excavation & Recovery Monitoring & research but leaving timber samples in-situ until funding for dendrochronological analysis was available.
2006  Excavation & Recovery  Recovery of timber samples for dendrochronological dating & provinance analysis. 
2007    Monitoring survey in conjunction with Wessex Archaeology.
2008 Surface Recovery    Monitoring to assess the deterioration of the site and ongoing research. 
2009  Surface Recovery  Monitoring, research and the production of a report on the 8 years of site work. 

Our conclusions following 8 years of work was that the wreck on this site is almost certainly not that of the Diamond, hence the belated title used when referring to the project as the NTD (or the Not The Diamond) Site.

The project concluded with a report that formed the basis of a MA Discertaion with the title:       A Shipwreck Site in Cardigan Bay, West Wales, Designated under the Protection of Wrecks Act 1973, and known as the Diamond:  An Interim Report on the Site (2000 - 2009)

Of course having hopefully satisfactorily answered the question we set out to resolve, we are now left with two additional questions:

a)  What have we actually been working on for 8 years ?

b)  Where is the Diamond ?


To help answer these questions, we are looking for your assistance.  Up until around 1990, a painting of the Diamond when it lay wrecked on the Sarn Badrig Reef hung in a rectory near to the site.  The location of this painting currently remains unknown.  Do you know where this painting is today?  If you have any information that might help, please contact us to help resolve these unanswered questions.