A wooden wreck site associated with cannon, galley bricks, concreted objects and large dressed stone blocks.
Reasons for Designation
The unidentified wooden wreck site off Eastbourne is designated as a Protected Wreck for the following principal reasons:
* Historical importance: the discovery of an assemblage of cannon, and the association of other material provides an initial interpretation that this wreck comprises the remains of a C17 Dutch vessel.
* Archaeological importance: The recent discovery of this wreck is suggestive of a long period of burial which indicates the possible presence of a small finds and organic material.
The wreck was first identified in Easter 2019 when a dive charter, based out of Eastbourne, took two divers out to dive an unidentified obstruction recorded by the UK Hydrographic Office. During this dive cannon were observed on the seabed.
On 29 and 30 April 2019, the charter returned to the site with members of the Nautical Archaeology Society (NAS) to explore the wreck in more detail. In a verbal report made to Historic England, the NAS confirmed the presence of at least thirteen cannon, some of which had markings on them. Divers also saw galley bricks, miscellaneous concreted objects, large dressed stone blocks and the probable base of a copper cauldron.
Initial assessment, based on the cannon and galley brick morphology, indicates that the wreck may be of C17 Dutch origin, perhaps associated with either the Battle of Portland (1652) or the Battle of Beachy Head (1690); documentary research is on-going. If the wreck does represent the remains a former Dutch vessel, then it remains in the ownership of the Government of The Netherlands.
The UK Hydrographic Office (UKHO) record for the wreck indicates that it was first recorded in 2015, perhaps suggestive of a long period of burial and the presence of small finds and organic material. The UKHO survey data records a strong magnetic anomaly (most likely due to the presence of iron cannon and other ferrous artefacts).
The lack of a NRHE record for the wreck site confirms that this is a new discovery.
Designation Order: 1068, 2019 Made: 1 July 2019 Laid before Parliament: 4 July 2019 Coming into force: 5 July 2019.
Protected area: 100 metres within 50.65043, 0.39670.
No part of the restricted area lies above the high-water mark of ordinary spring tides.
This list entry was subject to a Minor Amendment on 05/12/2019