The site comprises the remains of a C17 armed vessel, located on the Shingles Bank off the Isle of Wight.
Reasons for Designation
The newly identified wooden wreck site described as Shingles Bank Wreck NW68, located within the western Solent, is designated as a Protected Wreck Site for the following principal reasons:
* Period: Initial interpretation indicates this wreck comprises the remains of a C17 Dutch vessel related to the period when the Netherlands became the foremost maritime and economic power in the world;
* Rarity: The discovery of a previously unrecorded shipwreck site in the Solent is a rare occurrence. Ships predating 1700 are extremely rare;
* Potential: The recent discovery of this wreck is suggestive of a long period of burial which indicates that the wreck has potential for the survival of a range of small finds and organic material;
* Vulnerability: Elements of the wreck exposed on the seabed remain vulnerable to uncontrolled salvage and theft.
* Group Value: Shingles Bank Wreck NW68 has group value with a similarly early and recently discovered wreck carrying cargo - also shipwrecked on the Shingles Bank of the Needles Channel (western Isle of Wight) – the wooden wreck site known as Shingles Bank Wreck NW96 (National Heritage List for England 1469107).
The wreck was first identified by divers working with a local dive-charter skipper investigating a range of sites on the western side of the Isle of Wight. The information was shared with the Maritime Archaeology Trust who recognized the potential importance of the wreck and the applicant was encouraged to contact Historic England.
Initial assessment, based on the cannon, indicates that the wreck may be of C17 Dutch origin, perhaps associated with the Battle of Portland (1653). The wreck remains unidentified. If the wreck does represent the remains a former Dutch vessel, then it remains in the ownership of the Government of The Netherlands.
The wreck is located some 1.7km south-west of Hurst Castle, on the Shingles bank, in the Needles Channel.
The lack of an NRHE record for the wreck site confirms that this is a new discovery. Such sites are particularly vulnerable to uncontrolled salvage and theft.
Designation Order: 2022, No 535. Made 10th May 2022, Laid before Parliament: 12th May 2022, 2022 Coming into force: 2nd June 2022.
Restricted area: 75m radius within 50.69662, -1.56985.
The site comprises three cannons, one iron and two bronze, together with outlying features including concreted iron objects and a large anchor. Ship structure may survive buried under the seabed. The main wreck covers an area of approximately 20m by 7m. Sidescan sonar anomalies in the vicinity suggest other related features survive on the seabed a short distance from the main wreck.