For sale: Birthplace of Northern Ireland Arctic explorer Francis Crozier
The birthplace of Northern Ireland-born Arctic explorer Francis Crozier who vanished without a trace nearly two centuries ago has gone up for sale.
Crozier was born in Avonmore House in Banbridge in August 1796.
Second in command to Sir John Franklin, Crozier set off on his heroic mission to explore the Northwest Passage – a sea route through the Arctic Ocean connecting the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean above Canada – in the spring of 1845.
This was a goal of Arctic explorers from the 16th century, who were convinced there was a navigable trade route to Asia that could save them lengthy and hazardous trips around South America and Africa.
However, the explorer, two ships - HMS Erebus and HMS Terror - and an entire crew disappeared in the icy stretch off northern Canada – prompting an unprecedented worldwide preoccupation with finding out what happened.
Despite a massive search operation at the time, the two ships were never found.
The broad circumstances of the expedition's fate were not revealed until 1859 when a message left in a cairn on Victory Point, King William Island, was found.
The message revealed that both ships had become trapped in ice in late 1846 and had remained so for approximately one-and-a-half years. It indicated Franklin had died on June 11, 1847, while an additional 23 crew members had similarly perished under unknown circumstances.
According to legend, Crozier was the last man standing.
The wreckage of the two vessels was discovered by an expedition in September 2014.
The Banbridge-born explorer is now remembered in the town in the form of a large statue in Church Square.
And now his birthplace has gone up for sale.
The three storey home in the centre of Banbridge is available for offers around £250,000.
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