In 2018 Mark Pearce and the Coronation Work Project won the first annual MSDS Marine Award designed to support voluntary work on protected wreck sites. In this blog Mark provides an update on the work of the Coronation Work Project since the award.
Its been 10 years that the team in its present form began the Coronation Wreck Project. Its unfailing mission, to shed further light on the wrecking of the British Warship Coronation. The Coronation was a 90 gun wooden war ship that foundered off the coast of Plymouth in a storm of September 1691. Over 600 men lost their life that night.
Apart from very minor naval records from the time, little is known of the wreck, the mechanism of how she foundered, or the people aboard. Almost forgotten from history, she lay undisturbed until the 1970’s. Now with nearly 50 years of being dived, and now with a perceivable debris trail of over a mile across the seabed, the task of identifying parts of the wreck is an unenviable and very long winded task. So, it was with very much appreciation that the Team was awarded a grant of £500 to spend on equipment for the 2019 year. This was readily spent on a metal detector, something the team had on their wish list for a long time.
As the wreck is over 300 years old, virtually no organic remains exist, only metal objects have endured. Coupled with a soft sandy seabed, apart from the 90 guns and the anchors, most smaller and more delicate items are now well buried.
Since being awarded the grant, the metal detector has barely been dry, and has been used extensively on several areas of deep sand. Early results are proving to be very encouraging with new artefacts being discovered on a dive by dive basis. No doubt, in the coming months and years significant finds will further our understanding of both the wreck, and the people that were aboard her.We are extremely grateful for the confidence shown in the project with the donation of this vital piece of equipment.
You can find out more about the Coronation on the National Heritage List for England by clicking here.
You can find out more about the work of Mark and the Coronation Wreck Project here: http://www.coronationwreck.org/
Photos: With thanks to Dave Peake.