Protected Wreck Top Trumps

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We are delighted to launch a free game to download to find out more about England’s protected wreck sites.

What is protected wreck Top Trumps?

Protected Wrecks Top Trumps is a great way of finding out more about England’s protected wreck sites in a fun and accessible way for all ages. It has been created by MSDS Marine for you to enjoy with your family and friends. Each card contains a list of numerical data and the aim of the game is to compare these values to try to trump and win your opponent’s card.

The numerical data is based on fact but it is only our interpretation of the data—if you disagree with our values then get in touch and we can debate it with you for future releases! The Top Trumps value is based on how accessible to the public a site is—after all these sites are there to be enjoyed by us all.

Download Protected Wreck Top Trumps here.

What is a protected wreck?

In England a protected wreck site is any that has been designated under the Protection of Wrecks Act 1973. The protected sites contain the remains of a vessel (or perhaps just its cargo in some cases) and is of historical, archaeological or even artistic importance! The sites can tell us much about ships and trade in the past as well as the lives of sailors and passengers and even society as a whole.

How do I play?

Deal all of the cards out amongst all of the players. There must be at least two players. The player to the left of the dealer (or alternatively the youngest player). The starting player selects a category from their top card and reads out its value. Each other player then reads out the same value from their top card. The best value (in this case always the largest, except for date of loss which is always the oldest) wins the round and takes all the other players cards from that round and puts them at the bottom of their pile. The winner then looks at their top card and chooses the category for the next round.

In the event of a draw the cards are placed in the centre and a new category is chosen from the next card by the same person as in the previous round. The winner of that round obtains all of the cards in the centre as well as the top card from each player.

Players are out when they lose their last card. The winner is the player who obtains the whole pack.

How can I find out more?

The National Heritage List for England (NHLE) is the only official, up to date register of all nationally protected wreck sites. It’s free to search and you can even find out about other types of protected sites including buildings and monuments near you!

You can find a list of all wrecks protected under the Protection of Wrecks Act 1973 on the NHLE here:

Anyone can apply for a licence to dive on a protected wreck site but if you can’t dive then Historic England have created virtual trails that allow you to explore the sites from a computer, tablet or smart phone without even getting wet or leaving your house! Where these exist there is a QR code on the card you can follow, using a tablet or smart phone, to the virtual trail.

You can also find out more about these trails here:

Finally, we would like to thank everyone who has helped in the development and testing of this game including Hefin Meara (Historic England) and Peta Knott (NAS) and everyone who has helped by contributing photos. We would especially like to thank our chief testers, Samuel and Harry James.

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