The Fascinating Shipwreck That Lies On This North Yorkshire Beach

The Yorkshire coastline is littered with history. You don’t need to walk along the beach for long before you come across something of significance, whether it is pillboxes from the war or, more recently, dinosaur fossils and such. One thing of significance you may have come across before is the debris of a concrete ship, MV Creteblock shipwreck, that sits between Whitby and Saltwick Bay.

Mv creteblock shipwreck
Creteblock (X)
cc-by-sa/2.0 – © Steve Partridge – geograph.org.uk/p/974516

The ship in question, MV Creteblock, is the wreck of a concrete ship built as part of an initiative in the First World War in West Sussex when metal and other materials were in short supply. The military vessel was a feat of engineering but never saw active service.

The ship was purchased by Smiths Dock, in Teeside, where it was used as a harbour tug. It was then taken to Whitby in the 1930s, where it sat until 1947, when the decision was made to sink the ship by what is known as scuttling – where you sink a ship deliberately.

Credit: Aft section of the MV Creteblock
cc-by-sa/2.0 – © Stephen McCulloch – geograph.org.uk/p/722556

Whilst towing the MV Creteblock out to the North Sea, it hit Whitby Scar in shallow water, and the vessel broke up. To clear the ship, they blew up the ship with dynamite, which is what you can now find along the stretch of beach.

Shipwreck, The Scar
cc-by-sa/2.0 – © Mick Garratt – geograph.org.uk/p/683154

At low tide, the Mv Creteblock shipwreck appears, and you can see it from the top of the cliffs along with the Cleveland Way or pottering along the beach.

Wreck of the MV Creteblock
cc-by-sa/2.0 – © Stephen McCulloch – geograph.org.uk/p/722553

Check out this video of the wreckage below of MV Creteblock in all its glory:

[Featured image: Aft section of the MV Creteblock
cc-by-sa/2.0 – © Steve Partridge – geograph.org.uk/p/974516