The iron steamship Bickley was launched from the Monkwearmouth yard of Alfred Simey and Co Ltd (Yard No 51) in April 1877. She measured 176.0′ x 28.0′ x 14.6′ and her tonnage was 631 gross tons, 401 net tons. She was powered by a 2 cylinder compound steam engine by Pattison and Atkinson, Newcastle delivering 80 registered horse power. She was built for Pile and Co Ltd., London and was sold to the Ulster Steamship Company (G Heyn and Sons) Belfast in 1884.
Months later, on 6th October 1884, she was en route from Liverpool to Copenhagen under the command of Captain Mahood when she ran aground on a reef off Crossipoll, Coll at 5am in the morning. The crew made it safely ashore in ship’s boat but sadly, after they had reached the shoreline, five men were lost when they set off north in the boat to try to get some assistance and were never seen again.
Salvage crews were quickly on the scene to begin removing her general cargo and it was expected that the ship herself, which was lying down by the head with her forehold full of water, would also be saved. Contemporary records don’t reveal whether attempts to refloat her were actually made or indeed if she was finally removed. The authors believe that she was substantially salvaged but that the large boiler in position 56° 33.973’N, 006° 39.655’W , which lies in 10 metres of water on the east side of the rock charted in the centre of Crossipoll Bay approximately half a mile east of Runan Faochag, is likely to be from the Bickley.