Heritage Category:
Maritime Wreck
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Date of most recent amendment:
Location Description:
(North) Goodwin Sands, off Deal, Kent


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

Location Description:
(North) Goodwin Sands, off Deal, Kent
National Grid Reference:
TR 44317 57082


Although there is no definite evidence, the wreck is thought to be that of the Restoration, sunk along with a number of other ships in the area during the 'Great Storm' of 1703. There are now two 'wreck mounds', both unidentified, and it is not clear if they relate to one or more wrecks sites. Also sunk in the area but not identified is the Mary.


The ship was built in 1678 in Harwich, and was subsequently rebuilt in 1702. The Restoration was a 1055 ton, third rate British man of war, with a crew of 386. Built as part of the 'Thirty Great Ships' programme, she sank on the Goodwin Sands during the Great Storm in 1703, alongside the Northumberland and the Stirling Castle.

The site was discovered in 1980 during a survey programme, by local divers, of fishermen's net fastenings on the Goodwin Sands. The wreck was designated in 1981, but no intrusive archaeological work has been carried out on the site, although geophysical surveys were conducted by Marine Archaeological Surveys in the 1980s, and by the ADU.

The material visible on the seabed is consistent with a wreck of a wooden warship and it is probable that it is one of the Royal Navy's ships which sank in the Great Storm of 1703. Insufficient information exists to conclusively identify this as the wreck of the Restoration.


Designation History: Designation Order: ( No.1); No 827, 1981 Made: 8th June 1981 Laid before Parliament: 16th June 1981 Coming into force: 7th July 1981 Protected area: 50 metres within 51 15.588 N 001 29.895 E

Designation Order: (No 1), No 2089, 1989 Made: 10th November 1989 Laid before Parliament: 17th November 1989 Coming into force: 8th December 1989 Protected area: 50 metres within 51 15.60 N 001 30.13 E

Designation Order No 2395, 2004 Made: 12th September 2004 Laid before Parliament: 14th September 2004 Coming into force: 5th October 2004 Protected Area: 300 metres within 51 15.60 N 001 30.13 E

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

Documentary History: She was built by Betts in 1678 at Harwich then rebuilt in 1702. She was thus part of the same 'Thirty Great Ships' programme engendered by Pepys that included the other two 70 gun third rates to go down in the 1703 Great Storm on the Goodwins; Northumberland and Stirling Castle. Her master at the time of loss was Fleetwood Emes. None of her 386 crew survived.

Various contemporary sources describe the loss of the Restoration:

'Deale, Nov. 27. We have had so violent a storm at south west that the like has not been known in these parts in the memory of man; it began to blow hard yesterday in the evening, but about 11 at night it blew so hard with sudden gusts of wind, that it made all the houses of the town shake...and so continued till about 9 this morning. We find missing of our merchant men upwards of 70 sail, and these men of war following, viz...RESTAURATION, Captain Emms...

'There having been various and confused accounts given last week of the loss sustained by Her Majesty's ships of war in the late storm, we present the public with the following authentic list of all that are irrecoverably lost...The RESTORATION, a third rate, Captain Emmes, on the Goodwin Sands. All her company was lost.'

'Sir, These Lines I hope in God will find you in good health, we are all left here in a dismal condition, expecting every moment to be all drowned. For here is a great storm, and is very likely to continue...And the ship call'd the RESTORATION, a third rate, all sunk and drowned: These ships were all close by us which I saw; these ships fired their guns all night and day long, poor souls, for help, but the storm being so fierce and raging, could have none to save them...'

'A list of such of Her Majesty's Ships, with their Commanders' Names, as were cast away by the violent storm on Friday Night the 26th of November 1703, the wind having been from the SW to WSW and the storm continuing from about midnight to past six in the morning: 'Third rate, Restoration, 386 men, 70 guns, Fleetwood Emes, Goodwin Sands, all her men lost.'

Archaeological History: Although there is no definite evidence, the wreck is thought to be that of the Restoration, which foundered during the Great Storm of 1703. There are now known to be two 'wreck mounds', both unidentified, and it is unclear whether they relate to a single or multiple wreck sites. In 1980 the ship's copper kettle with broad arrow marking was recovered thus indicating it to be probably a naval vessel.

No extensive archaeological investigation has been undertaken to prove the identity of either mound, but they are likely to represent the remains of two parts of a single wreck, or the remains of the Restoration and Mary, the smaller south mound possibly being more likely to relate to the smaller Fourth Rate Mary.

The site was found after investigation of a fisherman's fastener in 1979 and although no intensive archaeological investigation has taken place, geophysical surveys have been produced, such as that by the ADU in 1999.

The maximum depth of the site is 20m. In 1999 the base of the wreck mound displayed a scour into the sand which had an exposed flint layer. Most of the exposed ship timbers and large areas of the wreck mound had been colonised by mussels, suggesting exposure of this site over time, but by 2003, up to 2 metres of sediment had re-buried this site, indicating a pattern of exposure and burial in a dynamic environment, and the possible threat of degradation.

The site was reinvestigated by Wessex Archaeology (in their capacity as the Government's archaeological contractor) in June 2006. The site was recorded to comprise two mounds located approximately 100 metres apart, with scattered and partly buried wreckage visible on each mound. The site was noted to be more exposed in 2006 than it had been in 2003, with some change to the surrounding sediment levels. The sandbank appears to have moved some 20m to the east between multibeam surveys in 2002 and 2005. All exposed features were covered with marine growth.

Only the northern mound was reinvestigated in 2006. The length of the main part of this mound, as assessed from previous multibeam survey data, measures 20m north-south by 15m east-west. There are four smaller anomalies to the west, potentially extending the wreck site by another 25m to the west, giving a total length of 45m NW-SE. The mound itself is approximately 1 to 1.5m high. This mound consists of partly buried features, including timber, brick structures [possibly associated with the vessel's galley], a possible cannon, and concretions. A large timber was recorded at the northern edge of the mound, exposed by about 3m, both ends being buried in sand. The three exposed faces of the timber were covered in 0.5mm thick copper sheathing. This may possibly be interpreted as part of the stern or stern post, consistent with known practice in the early 18th century, an external rubbing strake, or an internal structural timber. If internal, it could have been used as protection against heat, e.g. in the hearth area, and this item was found 5 metres to the north of the brick and concretion mound possibly identifiable as the hearth/galley area.

The site has been subject to geophysical investigations since 1998 with multibeam surveys undertaken in 2002 by the ADU and in 2005/2006 by the University of St Andrews. It is possible that the two mounds at the site represent the remains of either one wreck in two fragments, or the remains of two wrecks; i.e. possibly both the Restoration and the Mary.


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

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:
AMIE - Wrecks


Books and journals
Lyon, D, The Sailing Navy List: All the Ships of the Royal Navy Built, Purchased and Captured 1688-1860, (1993)
'International Journal of Nautical Archaeology' in International Journal of Nautical Archaeology, , Vol. 9, (), 339-342
'Daily Courant' in Daily Courant, (1703)
Restoration, Goodwin Sands: Designated Site Assessment: Archaeological Report, November 2006


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: 1981/827

End of official listing

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