Built for the Hogarth Shipping Company of Ardrossan by A. Rodger and Company Limited in Port Glasgow, the steel steamship Baron Glamis was launched on 6th June 1894. She measured 301.2′ x 40.6′ x 16.7′ and was powered by a 206 net horse power triple expansion steam engine by J G Kincaid. She weighed 2432 gross tons, 1556 net tons.
It is often said that history never repeats itself but, in this case, it is certainly not true. Forty seven years before the loss of the Baron Glamis the Princess Royal had run aground on precisely the same spot at Laggan Beacon, off the Galloway coast, in a very similar morning fog. The Baron Glamis, left Glasgow on 20th January, 1903 bound for Buenos Aires with a general cargo of coal, wood and bricks. She was under the command of Captain E. Manning who was making his first voyage down the Clyde in command of a steamship, although he was an experienced sailing ship master. As the Baron Glamis approached Corsewall Point, Galloway around 3am on 21st January on a south westerly course, the weather was very foggy. Shortly after passing the Point she ran aground near Laggan Beacon and stuck fast on the rocks.
Although she settled down by the bow, as the water rushed in through a gaping hole in her hull, the crew were in no immediate danger in the calm weather. The rocket brigade and then the Portpatrick lifeboat soon arrived on the scene. However, as the crew prepared to go ashore, the wind increased and by the time they were taken aboard the lifeboat the weather had deteriorated considerably. Shortly before they left, the engine room bulkhead gave way and the sea water flooded the mid section of the stranded vessel which, until this time, had been afloat from midships aft.
The weather continued unsettled for the next two days frustrating the salvage teams who were already standing by at the scene of the wreck. Early in the morning of 24th January she parted amidships and became a total wreck, leaving her cargo and parts of the wreckage floating northwards in the strong tidal current.
The wreck of the Baron Glamis lies in position 54°58.580’N, 05°11.233’W (GPS), north east of Laggan Beacon. Depths around the wreckage range from 12 to 18 metres. She is well broken with the stern section the most intact, lying on a rock and sand seabed, shallower sections of the wreck lie within heavy kelp.
The site is very exposed to the prevailing winds and swell and is also subject to strong tidal streams so care is essential when diving. The authors strongly recommend the use of delayed surface marker buoys when diving this and other wrecks lying in areas of strong tidal movement along this section of coastline.