History of the Atlantic Cable & Undersea Communications
from the first submarine cable of 1850 to the worldwide fiber optic network

CS Chiltern
by Bill Glover


Built 1866 by Wm. Denny and Company, Dumbarton.

Length 262.0 ft.  Breadth 31.3 ft.  Depth 22.6 ft.  Gross tonnage 1,391.

Single screw. Compound engine of 240 hp, brig rig.

Purchased in 1867 by the Telegraph Construction and Maintenance Company and fitted out for cable work.

Two cable tanks were installed with a total coiling capacity of 13,119 cubic feet. Twin bow sheaves on the end of a boom, and a single stern sheave were fitted. The paying out and picking up machinery was designed and manufactured by the company.

Sold to the British‑Indian Submarine Telegraph Company in 1870. Transferred in 1872 to the Eastern Telegraph Company and used for both laying and repairing cables. Used as the terminal station at Alexandria following the cutting of the cables during the bombardment of that city.

This watercolour shows (from left to right) CS Mirror (1), CS Chiltern, and CS Great Northern, berthed in Vigo for supplying, coaling, and other services. It was painted in 2016 by Roberto Hernández, and is reproduced here by his kind permission. More ship paintings may be seen at his website.

Fitted with new cable machinery in 1890 this time supplied by Johnson & Phillips. Stationed at Zanzibar from 18 December 1902 following the loss of Great Northern. Relieved in July 1903 by Sherard Osborn.

Withdrawn from service during 1903 and laid up at Plymouth for dismantling. While moored at Plymouth Chiltern was struck by CS Mirror (1) and sank [The Times, 4 January 1904]. The ship was subsequently refloated and towed by the tug Diomedes to Harburg, Germany to be broken up by Rudolf Neugebauer & Company of nearby Hamburg.


Capt. W. Edington:
1867 Placentia, Newfoundland - St Pierre - Cape Breton
1867 Placentia, Newfoundland - Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia
1868 Malta - Alexandria, Egypt
1869 St. Pierre - Cape Cod, USA
1870 Aden - Suez, Egypt
Capt. H. Chevalier:
1870 Malta - Alexandria
1873 Syra ‑ Chios No. 1
Capt. Hawkes:
1875 Orbetello, Italy - Terranova, Sardinia
1881 Lipari - Salina, Messina, Italy
1884 Zante ‑ Patras No. 1
1884 Patras ‑ Corinth No. 1
1889 Patras ‑ Corinth No. 2
1889 Patras ‑ Obock
1897 Vigo, Spain - Gibraltar
1901 Zante ‑ Patras No. 3
1901 Patras ‑ Corinth No. 3


Capt. W. Edington:

Atlantic cable off Newfoundland

1867 Malta - Alexandria off Benghazi

Cableships Index Page

Last revised: 22 August, 2016

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