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List Entry Summary

This site is designated under the Protection of Wrecks Act 1973 as it is or may prove to be the site of a vessel lying wrecked on or in the sea bed and, on account of the historical, archaeological or artistic importance of the vessel, or of any objects contained or formerly contained in it which may be lying on the sea bed in or near the wreck, it ought to be protected from unauthorised interference. Protected wreck sites are designated by Statutory Instrument. The following information has been extracted from the relevant Statutory Instrument.


List Entry Number: 1000047


Named Location:

Location Description:

West of Brighton Marina, off Kemp Town, Brighton and Hove

Competent Authority:

The site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Latitude: 50.81077984

Longitude: -0.10978193

National Grid Reference: TQ 33270 02950

Date first designated: 15-Sep-1983

Date of most recent amendment: Not applicable to this List entry.

Legacy System Information

The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System: AMIE - Wrecks

UID: 1082104

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Information provided under the Statutory Instrument heading below forms part of the official record of a protected wreck site. Information provided under other headings does not form part of the official record of the designation. It has been compiled by Historic England to aid understanding of the protected wreck site.

Summary of Site

Remains of wreck of craft thought to be of sixteenth century date, from the nature of the cannon recovered in association with the site, which appears to have stranded in the vicinity of what is now Brighton Marina.

Reason for Designation

Statutory Instruments



The wreck at Brighton Marina was found by members of the Black Cat Sub Aqua Club from Basildon in 1975 although another diver had recovered a bronze gun, now with the Tower Armouries, from the same area in 1963. Some ship's structure, possibly part of the same wreck, was also found during the construction of the nearby marina wall in c.1973.

The site lies off the western arm of the breakwater wall surrounding Brighton Marina and is believed to represent an unidentified armed vessel, probably dating to the sixteenth century. Bronze and iron ordnance, as well as other associated material, were recovered without survey or archaeological control before the site was designated in 1983. The Black Cat group worked regularly on the site until 1987 when the slowly encroaching sand, discouraged them from further work.


Designation History: Designation Order: (No 1), No 1400, 1983 Made: 15th September 1983 Laid before Parliament: 26th September 1983 Coming into force: 18th October 1983 Protected area: An area bounded by straight lines between the following Ordnance Survey National Grid Co-ordinates: NGR 533370 E, 103025 N; 533370 E, 102875 N; 533170 E, 102875 N; & 533170 E, 103025 N

No part of the restricted area lies above the high-water mark of ordinary spring tides.

Documentary History: Although structural remains have been reported at the Brighton Marina site, no identifiable technological or other features that might provide useful information about the nature of the ship before it sank have so far been found. The guns raised from the site are indicative of a sixteenth-century vessel and it is unclear whether or not any further evidence survives at the site.

Archaeological History: The site lies in 5 to 10 metres of water just west of Brighton Marina West Breakwater. A number of pieces of rare ordnance are known to have been recovered from this site over the period from 1974 to 1985. These include two sixteenth-century wrought iron built stave guns, one with a stone cannon ball still in the barrel, a rare fifteenth-century bronze hackbut and a number of breech chambers. Remains of a timber-built vessel have also been located though it is also possible that some timbers were removed or overlain by the construction of the western breakwater. This is revealed only occasionally with sand movement. Distribution of these and other as yet unexplored contacts seem to lie in a line from south-west to north-east leading towards the marina wall. The full whereabouts of the numerous pieces of ordnance recovered from this site is presently unknown.

Between 1984 and 1989, pre-disturbance survey, excavation, site stabilisation and site monitoring were carried out on the site by the Isle of Wight Trust for Maritime Archaeology while geophysical survey was undertaken in 2004/5.

Selected Sources

The Brighton Marina Protected Wreck Project (2004 - 2005): NAS Part II Project report,


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End of official listing