Seventeenth century rudder raised

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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Photo: Dave Parham, project leader, with the Swash Channel Wreck rudder Photo: Bournemouth University

Marine archaeologists from Bournemouth University in the UK have raised an elaborately carved rudder from a shipwreck off the coast of Poole in Dorset.

The rudder, which features a detailed man’s face carved into the wood, was retrieved from the ‘Swash Channel Wreck’, thought to have been a Dutch trading ship, which sank in the 17th century.

Bournemouth University are leading the project to protect, excavate and piece together more information about the wreck, which sits on the seabed of the English Channel near Poole Harbour.

Dave Parham, project leader and senior lecturer in marine archaeology, Bournemouth University, said that this rudder is the only one of its kind found in the UK. “It is unusual for one like this to be found in its entirety”, he said.

The rudder is eight and a half metres long and weighs three and a half tonnes. It will now go to York to be conserved before eventually going on display in Poole Museum.

The Swash Channel Wreck project is a partnership between Bournemouth University and the Borough of Poole Museum Service. It has been funded by a £141,200 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Other artefacts recovered by the Swash Channel Wreck project so far include cannons, leather shows and wooden barrels.