Treasure-Hunting for the Silver Dollar Ship

Elvis Elvis

Rhossily Bay is on the Gower Peninsular in Wales. It has for over two centuries keep a rather well known secret. Sometime in the late 17th Century a ship was wrecked in the middle of this bay. It would seem, as there is no record of the locals seeing the ship when it wrecked then she must have been completely destroyed in the storm, and only the driftwood left on the beach. No one knows her name, nor where she came from.

In 1807 some years after the wrecking (know one knows how long had passed since the original wrecking), a very low tide revealed the remains of the wreck. The locals had treasure-hunting field day when a few Gold Miodores were found and Silver Dollars (Identified as Peruvian dollars) were found in large quantities. Many were salvaged and a few locals got rich from their treasure-hunting spoils.

Later in 1833 again at a very low tide the remains of the ship were uncovered again and more coins were retrieved, The ship however has not been seen since and there has never been a modern search for the ship other than locals looking out at very low tides and after storms.

Two iron cannons were recovered from the wreck and are now in Cottage garden not far away from Rhossily. Some of the coins are available to be viewed at the Swansea Museum, as are some accounts from books on the Gower peninsular.

It has been suggested that the ship was carrying Catherine of Breganza’s Dowry (which was shipped in two parts). I do not believe this story for the following reasons.

Treasure Hunting for the Silver Dollar Ship

Catherine married King Charles II in 1662. King Charles dies in 1685 before any Miodores existed Catherine died in 1705

As gold Miodores were only minted from 1690 to 1722 it is unlikely the Catherine of Breganza link is genuine.

As an indication of the time the ship was wrecked. The Miodores give us a clue, as some were found in the wreck it could not have wrecked before 1690. And as the wreck was uncovered in 1807 it gives a 117-year time frame, even though that is a long time it was wrecked during that period.


Rhossily Bay, Gower Coast, Nr. Swansea.

The beach is approx 3 miles long altogether, and at low tide a huge expanse of sand is revealed. Burry Holmes is at the northern end, and Worms Head at the southern. The sea is Due west, where in the seventeenth century a dollar ship was wrecked.

Rhossily was a dangerous place for sailing ships, as once in they could not get out, even if that were the only problem it was a bad place to be. But the locals had a tradition of lighting a fire on Worms Head Island to deliberately attract ships, which it did, to their doom. Few sailors survived these people.

I do not think it would be to difficult to find this ship with modern equipment, of course she was not the only ship to wreck in the bay, so it would be a reasonable size project but then you could get lucky! Treasure-hunting for this one is way if front of many others I have researched

Another bonus is the Haunted Old Rectory in the middle of the bay, it is for rent from the National Parks, a fantastic location as I believe the wreck lies almost in front of the Rectory.