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Introductions to Heritage Assets (Ships and Boats)

Our Introductions to Heritage Assets (IHAs) for ships and boats are accessible, authoritative, well-illustrated summaries of what we know about the development of watercraft.

What IHAs cover

While there is no aspiration to have an entirely comprehensive series covering all types of vessels from early prehistory to the years immediately following the Second World War, the two IHAs consider:

  • All vessels used on inland waters, coastal waters and the open sea
  • Identify key archaeological discoveries
  • Address the main vessel types, including submarines and those that are now buried underground and those no longer afloat

Both IHAs share a common approach, headings and format.

A short Introduction defines the type of vessels addressed within the broad timeframes presented.

This is followed by a Description and Chronology which considers in greater detail the development of ships and boats through time.

In each case a narrative guide to Further Reading is supplied, which signposts key works, especially those of an accessible character.

On 1 April 2015 the part of English Heritage represented on this website changed its name to Historic England. You may notice that some of our content still refers to English Heritage. We are in the process of rebranding, but in the meantime please be assured that all our content and guidance is still current. 

Ships and Boats: Prehistory to 1840

Ships and Boats: Prehistory to 1840

Published 8 July 2016

An introductory guide to ships and boats which pre-date 1840.

Ships and Boats: 1840 to 1950

Ships and Boats: 1840 to 1950

Published 8 July 2016

An introduction to ships and boats from 1840-1950.

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