The London: Updated Conservation Statement and Management Plan 2017
Author(s): Sally Evans
Cotswold Archaeology was commissioned in March 2016 to update the existing Conservation Management Plan for the London protected wreck site. The London was an English Second Rate ship of the line built in Chatham during the Interregnum in 1656. The London served in both the Cromwellian and Restoration navies seeing action during the Anglo-Spanish war in 1657 and participating in the English show of strength during the Battle of the Sound. At the time of the Restoration in 1660 the ship formed part of the fleet that brought the future king Charles II back from exile in the Netherlands. The London sank in the Thames estuary in 1665 whilst preparing for the second Anglo-Dutch war. The ship was blown apart by an explosion, probably of its gunpowder magazine, and as mentioned in Samuel Pepys’ diary entry of 8 March 1665 only 24 personnel survived. The site was re-discovered in 1962 and was designated under the Protection of Wrecks Act 1973 in 2008. The wreck has been on the Heritage at Risk (HAR) register since 2009, owing to the risk of exposure and environmental decay of archaeological material. This Conservation Statement and Management Plan (the ‘Plan’) has been produced to enable local and regional stakeholder involvement to help Historic England achieve its aspirations for the conservation management of the London so as to balance protection with economic and social needs. The principal aim of the Plan is to identify a shared vision of how the values and features of the London can be conserved, maintained and enhanced.
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