[ILN 11 Feb 1865]


Destruction of Abernathy 'Birdcage'

THE Isle of Man was visited, on Sunday week, by a tremendous hurricane, which destroyed great part of the unfinished pier, or breakwater, in course of construction at Douglas. This work, consisting of a series of strong timber frames, which were firmly bolted together and were to be filled with stones and rubble, forming an artificial barrier to resist the waves, was begun in 1861. It was originally intended to be 1100 ft. in length, but had been actually carried to the length of 500 ft. only, when the work came to a standstill; and since last June little or no progress has been made with it. There are several other breakwaters, of a precisely similar construction, designed by Mr. Abernethy, the engineer of this one, which have, since their completion, withstood every storm that has occurred-as at Blyth, on the coast of Northumberland; at Silloth, on the Solway; at Watchet, in the Bristol Channel; at Stranraer and at Falmouth; but in the Isle of Man itself, the breakwaters at Ramsay and Peel which are of the same kind, have sustained no damage from the late hurricane, though Ramsay is in an exposed situation like that of Douglas. The huge Piles and beams of timber, which were torn from the wreck of the breakwater and drifted on to the shore, presented a scene of terrible havoc on the Monday morning. A small vessel, named the Jane and Agnes, laden with copper, was also wrecked upon the rocks beneath Hotel, at Douglas; but her crew, three men and a boy, were. happily saved by means of ropes.

[see account by Brown]

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