We are working with Historic England and the London protected wreck site volunteer team to undertake a two stage project to help inform ongoing management of the London. Stage 1 is a desk based audit of the existing geophysical data for the site and Stage 2 will deliver quality geophysical (sub-bottom) information to Historic England to enable the establishment of proactive management of the London Protected Wreck through an understanding of the depth of buried stratigraphy across the two sites.
The London is an important 17th Century Protected Wreck Site comprising two areas of extensive submerged archaeological remains lying in the Thames Estuary off Southend on Sea. First designated in October 2008, the site(s) has been subject to detailed, but limited, archaeological investigation in order to provide specific information to manage items at risk from natural and anthropogenic erosion and accretion. Recovered material has formed a key feature of a new gallery in the Central Museum in Southend on Sea and significant artefacts have been loaned to the National Maritime Museum’s gallery on Tudor and Stuart Seafarers.
The wreck is managed by Historic England for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport but despite a recent programme of evaluation and regular monitoring by the highly-motivated voluntary Licensed team led by Steven Ellis, with oversight provided by the Nominated Archaeologist Mark Beattie-Edwards, understanding of the depth of stratigraphy across the two areas remains incomplete.
This lack of knowledge regarding the extent and depth of buried archaeological remains across the two designated areas is a key gap in the understanding of the London Protected Wreck Site. Historic England have commissioned MSDS Marine to undertake a desk based assessment of existing sub-bottom remote sensing data and to provide a short programme of geophysical survey (comprising sub-bottom profiling only) across both sites in order to provide full and definitive information about the nature and extent of buried deposits associated with the London protected wreck site. This important piece of research will enable Historic England, and their partners, to move from reactive management to proactive management of the wreck site.
The project has been funded by Historic England as part of their work to manage the wreck. If you would like to find out more about the project please contact the Project Manager, Alison James (firstname.lastname@example.org), for more information.
You can find out more about the London on the National Heritage List for England here: https://historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list/list-entry/1000088