Historical information

This candle bracket was recovered from the wreck of the sailing ship Loch Ard after the to the disaster in 1878.

The bracket has been hand forged into a pleasing shape and design. The candle holder on the arm of the bracket cn swivel from side to side allowing the light to be adjusted.

LOCH ARD 1873-1878 –

The Scottish-built clipper ship Loch Ard was bound for Melbourne in 1878 with 54 people on board. The mixed cargo it carried included items for the 1880 International Exhibition in Melbourne, one of which was the now famous Majorca ware Minton ‘Peacock’ statue.

The Loch Ard was wrecked on June 1st when the ship crashed into Mutton Bird Island, east of Port Campbell. The only survivors were Tom Pearce, a crew member, and Eva Carmichael, a young passenger who was rescued by Pearce. The Gibsons, owners of nearby Glenample Homestead, cared for Tom, and for Eva who stayed longer before returning to Ireland.

The wreck of the Loch Ard was discovered in 1967, before the introduction of the Victorian historic shipwreck legislation. In 1969 it was decided that all recovered material should be lodged with the Receiver of Wrecks. In 1980 Flagstaff Hill Maritime Museum Divers received a permit to recover artefacts from the wreck to safeguard them from looters. In 1982 the site was listed as a Historic Shipwreck, and the Maritime Archaeology Unit recovered loose artefact material.


The candle bracket is an example of light fittings from the ship ‘Loch Ard’ or from part of the ship’s cargo, imported for use in Colonial Victoria in the 19th to early 20th century.

Flagstaff Hill’s collection of artefacts from LOCH ARD is significant for being one of the largest collections of artefacts from this shipwreck in Victoria. It is significant for its association with the shipwreck, which is on the Victorian Heritage Register (VHR S417). The collection is significant because of the relationship between the objects, as together they have a high potential to interpret the story of the LOCH ARD.

The LOCH ARD collection is archaeologically significant as the remains of a large international passenger and cargo ship. The LOCH ARD collection is historically significant for representing aspects of Victoria’s shipping history and its potential to interpret sub-theme 1.5 of Victoria’s Framework of Historical Themes (living with natural processes). The collection is also historically significant for its association with the LOCH ARD, which was one of the worst and best known shipwrecks in Victoria’s history.

Physical description

Candle bracket, bronze with fancy floral design. Bracket has been hand wrought with varying widths of flat iron. Bracket’s arm swivels on a pin front of bracket. Bracket was recovered from the wreck of the Loch Ard.