Heritage Category:
Maritime Wreck
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Location Description:
Off Gull Rock, Lundy Island, Devon


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

Location Description:
Off Gull Rock, Lundy Island, Devon
National Grid Reference:
SS 14346 46295


Remains of a wreck thought to be of fifteenth- to sixteenth-century date indicated by an assemblage of cannon and shot on the site, from a vessel presumed to have foundered. Any wreck on the site is therefore likely to have been an armed cargo vessel or a warship. A Genoese carrack is recorded as being wrecked on Lundy in 1418.


This unidentified wreck consists of a scatter of fifteenth- to sixteenth-century objects including two wrought iron breech blocks, a wrought iron gun and a quantity of stone shot. The site was originally found in 1968 but was not relocated again until 1983. A programme of survey work has been conducted, but no excavation to investigate possibly surviving remains in the soft silt seabed has been undertaken.


Designation History: Designation Order: (No 1), No 234, 1990 Made: 12th February 1990 Laid before Parliament: 21st February 1990 Coming into force: 14th March 1990 Protected area: 100 metres within 51 11.11 N 04 39.41 W

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

Documentary History: The site comprises an unidentified wreck of probable fifteenth- to sixteenth-century date. The wreck may represent the remains of a Genoese carrack which was lost with a valuable cargo in 1418 on Lundy which was abandoned by her crew.

Archaeological History: Although first found in 1968, the site was not re-discovered until 1983. The site lies on a silty sandy slope on the east side of Gull Rock at a depth of 30m. Visibility is affected by activities further up the Bristol Channel and the site is said to have deteriorated since 1983. During this time, a pre-disturbance survey was carried out and four cannon balls lifted for identification purposes; designation was not progressed in 1984.

In 1989, the site was visited by the Archaeological Diving Unit (ADU) and although reported to be well camouflaged, some stone cannon balls, two wrought iron breech chambers and wrought iron gun were visible. A large buried magnetic anomaly was detected about 60m from the exposed material, and two cannon-like objects were reported close to the site. The exposed gun has been dragged from its original position and is now broken in two.

A marine biological survey was undertaken in 1995 by the Marine Conservation Society Lundy working party and unauthorised access by divers form south Wales and north Devon has been reported.

The site was most recently assessed in 2004 by Wessex Archaeology acting in their capacity as the Government's archaeological contractor. The broken gun, the cannon and possibly a stone cannon ball was re-located.


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

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:
AMIE - Wrecks


Books and journals
Fox, H, The Evolution of the Fishing Village: Landscape and Society along the South Devon Coast, 1086-1550., (2001), 71-2
Heath, J, Gull Rock pre-disturbance survey 1993, (1993)
1993, Lundy Field Society annual reports,
1994, Lundy Field Society annual reports,
1995, Lundy Field Society annual reports,
Picture, The Scuba Diver's Guide to Lundy Marine Nature Reserve, (2003)


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.

Statutory Instrument

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.

Statutory Instruments: 1990/234

End of official listing

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