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VISIT | Find this maritime memorial to the once mighty HMS Invincible | Norfolk

Wander into the churchyard at Happisburgh
Wander into the churchyard at Happisburgh

A forgotten naval tragedy from 1801 and the dogged efforts of a Norfolk village to not let them be forgot

A surprising but interesting nautical find in this Norfolk village churchyard

Those with an interest in naval history will enjoy the visit to a memory of the Napoleonic Wars of the 19th Century and Nelson

Combine this with a visit to the famous lighthouse here at Happisburgh

A Memorial to HMS Invincible
A Memorial to HMS Invincible

"...the unexpected tribute to a Napoleonic maritime disaster..."

Description |

In a quiet village on the edge of the east coast of Norfolk lies a memorial in the north side of the churchyard to the crew of HMS Invincible. A 74 gun warship, part of what became Nelson's fleet, headed for the Baltic Fleet off Copenhagen in 1801.

In strong winds, it floundered off the coast of Happisburgh with over 600 men on board. In tough sea conditions, attempts were made to rescue the desperate boys and men of the crew but the warship had lost its rudder and it was stuck on a sandbank in awful weather.

A lucky few were rescued by a local fishing boat and collier but the remainder - over 400 men including Captain Rennie lost their lives.

Over the coming days, many bodies were washed ashore. 119 of them were picked up off Happisburgh beach and buried in a mass grave at Happisburgh churchyard. No grave marker. And in time, history forgot them.

Directions and Map |

Find the village of Happisburgh on the east coast of Norfolk near Stalham with the church in its centre

Longitude: 1.530852

Latitude: 52.82544

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