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Bottle of 1875 ale which sailed to the Arctic is up for auction in Shropshire

Oswestry | News | Published:

It sailed to the Arctic more than 140 years ago and has since sat unopened in a garage in Shropshire.

Now this unopened bottle of ale from the British Arctic Expedition of 1875 will go under the hammer at an auction in the north of the county, and is expected to fetch hundreds of pounds.

Aaron Dean with the bottle

The bottle of Allsopp's Arctic Ale was discovered by Trevanion and Dean auctioneer Aaron Dean in a garage in Gobowen, near Oswestry.

Mr Dean said: "I saw a bottle which looked interesting standing in a mixed box of spirits. However, my jaw dropped to the floor when I saw 'Arctic Expedition 1875' embossed on the intact seal."

The British Arctic Expedition of 1875 was an attempt by the British Admiralty to reach the North Pole and included two ships HMS Alert and HMS Discovery under the leadership of Vice-Admiral Sir George Nares (1831-1915).

Unfortunately the expedition failed to reach the pole but succeeded in mapping the coast lines of Greenland and Ellesmere Island.

Nares, in taking both ships successfully north through the channel between both land masses, became the first explorer to do so and the channel was named 'Nares Strait' in his honour.

The expedition included Petty Officer Adam Ayles, after whom both the Ayles Ice Shelf and Mount Ayles are named.

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Other features named after the expedition include the Markham Ice Shelf and Alert, Nunavut, the most northerly permanently inhabited place on earth.

Pelham Aldrich was a lieutenant on the expedition and commanded the Western Sledge Party to Ellesmere Island, where Cape Aldrich was named in his honour.

The bottle, which is full, is entered into auction with Trevanion and Dean which will be held on June 13 with an auction estimate of £400 to 600.

Mr Dean added: "It is simply amazing."

For more information on the bottle or auction contact Trevanion and Dean on (01948) 800202.

The sale will be held at Trevanion and Dean, The Joyce Building, Station Road, Whitchurch, Shropshire, SY13 1RD.

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