About the Resource Reviewers' Comments FAQs Screenshots  

Richard and Bridget Larn

Authors, and original copyright owners, of the Lloyd's Register Shipwreck Index (and Shipwreck Index of Ireland) volumes. Co-founders of Shipwrecks UK Ltd with Alan Jones.

Richard Larn dived on shipwrecks for more than 70 years, working not only on many of Britain's most historic sites but also all round the world. He opted to go to a sea training school at 14, going on to become 2nd Officer in the Merchant Navy, followed by 22 years in the Royal Navy, leaving as a Chief Petty Officer Mechanician/Diver. While in the RN, he pioneered the use of rescue divers operating from SAR helicopters and became actively involved in shipwreck discovery, salvage and archaeology.

OBE Investiture 2009Richard was one of six new Cornish Bards honoured at the Gorsedd of Cornwall at Redruth on Saturday, 2nd September 2006 and was chosen for his promotion of maritime history in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. In 2009 he was appointed an OBE for services to nautical archaeology and marine heritage.

With his wife Bridget, Richard started the Charlestown Shipwreck Heritage Centre in 1976, and they were joint owners and Curators for 22 years of the largest collection of shipwreck artefacts on public display in Europe. Bridget was joint-author of the six Shipwreck Index volumes.

Richard was managing director of Prodive Ltd, in Falmouth Docks, a Commercial Diving Training School he started on leaving the Royal Navy, and he and his wife have written some 36 books on shipwrecks and the sea. Their six volume work with Lloyd's Register of Shipping, the acclaimed 'Shipwreck Index of the British Isles', was used by the Government's Royal Commission for Historic Monuments to establish the National Maritime Record, followed by a similar record for the Scottish and Welsh Governments.

Both Richard & Bridget saw the Shipwrecks UK resource as a natural progression of their research, enabling their decades of work to be used as the core of a tool that can reveal all the underlying themes and patterns, while also rapidly finding 'needles in haystacks'. These underlying events, people and vessels are elements of more than 50,000 shipwrecks in the seas surrounding Britain and Ireland that are now contained in the resource. They endorsed Shipwrecks UK's co-founder Alan Jones as the best person to take this work forward; majority shareholder since 2007, Alan is now the company's owner.

Published work:

  • Shipwreck Index of the British Isles - Volume 1 'The West Country'. Lloyd's Register of Shipping. 1995. ISBN 0-900528-88-5
  • Shipwreck Index of the British Isles - Volume 2 'The South Coast'. Lloyd's Register of Shipping. 1996. ISBN 0-900528-99-0
  • Shipwreck Index of the British Isles - Volume 3 'The East Coast'. Lloyd's Register of Shipping. 1997. ISBN 1-900839-10-5
  • Shipwreck Index of the British Isles - Volume 4 'Scotland'. Lloyd's Register of Shipping. 1998 ISBN 1-900839-01-6
  • Shipwreck Index of the British Isles - Volume 5 'Wales & the West Coast' Lloyd's Register of Shipping. 2000. ISBN 1-900839-61-X
  • Shipwreck Index of Ireland - Volume 6 of the series. Tor Mark Press. 2002. ISBN: 1900839970
  • Cornish Shipwrecks - the South Coast Richard Larn & Clive Carter David & Charles. 1969 & 1971 Pan paperback editions, 1973 & 1976
  • Cornish Shipwrecks - the Isles of Scilly David & Charles. 1971 & 1979 (2nd ed.)
  • Shipwrecks of the Isles of Scilly Thomas & Lochar. 1993 (3rd ed.)
  • Shipwrecks of the Isles of Scilly. Shipwreck & Marine. 1999 (4th ed.)
  • Devon Shipwrecks David & Charles. 1974 & 1977. Pan paper-back editions, 1974 & 1977
  • Shipwrecks of Devon Countryside Books. 1996 (2nd ed.)
  • Goodwin Sands Shipwrecks David & Charles, 1977 & 1979
  • Shipwrecks of the Goodwin Sands Beresford Books. 1995 (2nd ed.)
  • Shipwrecks of Great Britain & Ireland. David & Charles, 1981
  • The Diver Guide to South Cornwall. Underwater Publications. 1983, 1987 & 1996
  • The Diver Guide to the Isles of Scilly & North Cornwall. Underwater Publications. 2002
  • The Commercial Diving Manual. Richard Larn & Rex Whistler. David & Charles. 1984, 1989 & 1993 (3rd ed.)
  • Sir Clowdisley Shovell's Disaster in the Isles of Scilly Richard Larn & Peter McBride Western Litho, Plymouth. 1985
  • Admiral Shovell's Treasure and Shipwreck - in the Isles of Scilly. Peter McBride & Richard Larn Shipwreck & Marine. 1999
  • Shipwrecks at Land's End Richard Larn & Edwin Mills Clark, Doble & Brendon. 1970
  • Charlestown - the History of a Cornish Seaport Villiers Publications Ltd. 1994
  • The Cita - Scilly's own 'Whisky Galore' wreck. Shipwreck & Marine. 1997 & 1998 (2nd ed.)
  • Ships, Shipwrecks and Maritime incidents in the Isles of Scilly. Museum Pub. No. 3 (for the Isles of Scilly Museum Council. 1999
  • Tor Mark Press Series:
    • Shipwrecks around Land's End. 1989
    • Shipwrecks - St. Ives to Bude. 1990
    • Shipwrecks Around Mount's Bay. 1991
    • Shipwrecks Around the Lizard. 1992
    • Shipwrecks - Falmouth to Looe. 1993
    • Shipwrecks of North Devon. 1999
    • Shipwrecks of South Devon. 2000 Bossiney Books Ltd.
    • Charlestown - a Visitors Guide. 1994

Richard's latest book was published in 2019: 'Sea of Storms, Shipwrecks of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly'. ISBN-13 : 978-0995502864. It charts 21 wrecks that have come to grief around the islands and the coast of Cornwall between 1527 and 2003. It has original oil and pencil illustrations by maritime artist Oliver Hurst.

There is a wikipedia page at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Larn