What do a garden flagpole and a 1902 shipwreck have in common?

In 1902, the SS Liverpool was shipwrecked off the coast of Alderney.

It was one of the biggest ships in the world at the time - bound for San Francisco and laden with cargo worth millions.

Despite crashing into the island's shores, much of the ship's cargo was salvaged, and its mast is now used as a flag pole in at a home in Maneez in the island.

The mast now stands as a flagpole at a home in Maneez in the island. Credit: ITV Channel TV

Local historian Ralph Burridge says it would have been "absolutely frightening" for the ship's crew as the thick fog descended before they crashed.

"They saw a bit of land, then they disappeared in the fog again and the next thing they saw was the rocks and it was too late," he said.

The wreck was bought for £250 by a consortium of five, who auctioned what was salvageable for over £8,000 - just over a £1 million in today's money.

But how the mast made its way from the SS Liverpool onto land remains a mystery.

"The gentleman who owned a lot of the land at the time, Mr Godfrey, he was the one who actually watched it go onto the rocks and then went to help the crew come off," Ralph said.

"There were no losses of life and for whatever reason we will never know how the mast appears here in this garden."

The lighthouse was put up to prevent other ships coming into difficulty. Credit: ITV Channel TV

While there were no casualties in this case, a lighthouse was put up to try to avoid future ship crashes.

Ralph said: "Because of it, they obviously considered the coastline needed a little more warning for shipping, so Trinity House approved the building of that particular lighthouse that was commissioned and became operation in 1912."