The Dunraven was built in 1873 by Charles Mitchell & Co Ltd in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne. She weighed 1800 tonnes, measured 82 metres by 9.7 metres and was a typical steam and sail ship. She was equipped with a 2 boiler compound engine and 2 masts for auxiliary power.
She was a typical ship of her time, specifically built for the "spice-run". She was owned by Watson & Milburn from Newcastle. As far as research from some documentation of the time, shows that Watson & Milburn were actually solicitors who "owned" the ship (possible in trust) and it was hired out to various independent trading companies.
What is clear, she sailed between 1873 and 1876 between India and Britain carrying spices, wool and cotton. On her last voyage she left Bombay in early April 1873 and sailed along the Indian Ocean back to the UK. She was on her way up the Red Sea for Suez, when she hit the most southern Reef known as Sha'ab Mahmud. She was holed badly in her bow, but was no immediate danger of sinking as she had slid quite high up onto the reef.
The ship actually sat there for about a week, when a storm broke up her bow and she also caught fire. She slid backwards and now rests at the bottom of a 30 metre slope (if you dig in the sand near here you will still find occasionally black suet from the fire) . A beacon was built shortly afterwards to warn shipping and since then the area has been called Beacon Rock. The Dunraven lay forgotten there until she was rediscovered by scuba divers in 1978 and she became famous in 1979 for a TV Special "World about Us".