Here’s 19 amazing photographs of the MV Creteblock Shipwreck and how to visit it
A Concrete Ship?
We know what you’re thinking. A concrete ship? That’s just not possible. Too heavy. Stones don’t float…
Well, turns out, sometimes, they do!
During the Great War metal and other materials were in short supply. Ingenious engineers and shipwrights were desperate to find a way to construct much needed military vessels.
The MV Creteblock
The MV Creteblock was built in 1919 in Shoreham, West Sussex. History of the ships life is patchy but it is known that this concrete ship was purchased by Smiths Dock in Teeside where it was used as a harbour tug.
Scrap Ship Stripped
In 1935 the the MV Creteblock was taken to Whitby to be scrapped. The ship was stripped of everything of value and over time, gradually began to deteriorate.
Plan For Scuttling
In 1947 the decision was taken to scuttle the MV Creteblock. Scuttling is when a ship is sunk deliberately. In its dilapidated state the MV Creteblock had served its time and was destined for the Great Ship Graveyard At The Bottom Of The North Sea.
Accident On Whitby Scar
During towing out to be scuttled the MV Creteblock struck Whitby Scar in shallow water. This notorious stretch of water under the Abbey cliff claimed the MV Creteblock and the vessel broke up.
‘Blow Her Up Boys’
In a desperate attempt to clear up the debris of the cursed ship, the MV Creteblock was blown up with dynamite. These efforts were only partially successful as you can see – the MV Creteblock Shipwreck is one of the most prominent of the Whitby Shipwrecks.
The Big Reveal
Everyday at low tide the shipwreck of the MV Creteblock is revealed. Whether you’re walking along the Cleveland Way Trail at the top of the cliffs or pottering along the beach from Whitby to Saltwick Bay, you’ll see the MV Creteblock shipwreck in its full glory.
As the years press on the constant battering of the North Sea is slowly destroying the MV Creteblock shipwreck. One day, all that will remain will be a collection of unidentifiable concrete structures.
The Rohilla Wreck
Not far from the MV Creteblock shipwreck there is another more well known and tragic wreck. The SS Rohilla shipwreck was a hospital ship that ran aground nearby.
Know Before You Go
Tides change on a daily basis please check tide times before heading out to visit the wreck. It is possible see the wreck from the Cleveland Way on the cliff top walking between Whitby Abbey and Saltwick Bay.
How To Visit The Wreck
The easy way to visit the wreck is to walk at low tide from Whitby’s Tate Hill beach towards Saltwick Bay. Equally the walk in reverse is just as effective.
Best Place To Park
Walk The Loop
From the Abbey you can walk down the 199 Steps to Tate Hill Beach and along the beach. If you want the double whammy and fancy a longer walk you could head towards Saltwick Bay, walk down the steps and follow the beach over Saltwick Nab until you reach the wreck. Linking both routes will result in a loop walk.
Watch The Tide
Whichever way you decide to visit the Creteblock wreck be sure to watch the tide. The tide comes in quickly and it is all too easy to get caught out. If it looks like the tide is turning, make your way to higher ground, either at Saltwick Bay or Tate Hill beach.
Take A Selfie
Be sure to record your visit to the wreck with a selfie! Impress your friends with your daring deeds and local history knowledge over a pint of Whitby Pale Ale at Whitby Brewery.
Have you visited the MV Creteblock Shipwreck? Leave us a comment below.