Built in 1858, The Sailing Brig  'Maria Asumpta'  pictured here leaving Penzance harbour in 1994 was the oldest sailing ship in the world still actively voyaging under sail. She was built of  Spanish Pine at Badalona near Barcelona and served for many years as a trading vessel between Spain, Cuba and the South Americas loaded down with cargoes of rum, molasses, salted meat, textiles and spices. In 1980 she was saved from destruction and almost totally rebuilt. Boasting a total sail area of  8,500 square feet and over four miles of rigging, she was soon to become a frequent and popular attraction at ports throughout the South West. Tragically, on 30th. May 1995, she broke up after hitting rocks off  Pentire Point near Padstow and sank with the loss of three crew members.