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Listen our May 2020 podcast recording for Society for Underwater Technology here


You can help Save the London

On the 7th March 1665 tragedy struck in the Thames Estuary, when the warship London exploded with the loss of over 300 souls. Today, over 350 years later, the tragedy continues as the wreck site washes away with every passing ship and tide.

On the anniversary of the ordering of The London, the 3rd of July 2019, the Nautical Archaeology Society and the London Shipwreck Trust launched the “Save The London” Campaign, to support the crucial recovery and conservation of many of the historical artefacts and remains from the protected wreck. 

The launch of the Save the London campaign took place at Southend Central Museum and included guests from Southend Borough Council, local businesses and supporters, the Port of London Authority and Time Team Archaeologist and NAS President Phil Harding.



The 'London' Wreck – Excavation and Analysis of Material at Risk

Work by Historic England's conservators on the London wreck material has revealed a wealth of information about this 17th-century warship. You can read a recent article on this ongoing research published on the Historic England website here.


Discover the London - Southend's Time Capsule 7th March 2020 

On the 7th March 2020 we hosted a discovery day, dedicated to the amazing historic shipwreck of The London; including a host of fascinating talks and interactive activities, discovering one of the most historically significant shipwrecks since the Mary Rose.

The #DiscoverTheLondonEvent was organised by Nautical Archaeology Society and the London Shipwreck Trust, with the support of Historic England, Southend Museums and Southend-on-Sea Borough Council and DiveMaster Insurance

Videos of all the talks given at the event can be found on the Save The London YouTube Channel here

Watch out for announcements of our 2021 #DiscoverTheLondon event


Help to Save the London

The London is a ‘second-rate’ ship from Cromwell’s era, and is identified in Samuel Pepys Diary as part of the fleet that brought Charles II back to England in the 17th Century. Despite her historical significance, her remains are currently lying just off the shipping channel in the River Thames, where the strong tides and turbulence from London’s present-day shipping are rapidly eroding the site, washing away many irreplaceable artefacts.

Located not far from Southend pier, a small team of experienced local divers from the London Shipwreck Trust brave the dark and treacherous waters to recover artefacts for public display.

Please help us raise £200,000 a year to support the work of The London Shipwreck Trust to advance, promote and provide for the preservation of the London shipwreck and its artefacts for public benefit and to protect it for future generations. 

In 2018 and 2019 the London Shipwreck Trust received in kind support from  MAST/Bournemouth University to help with the transportation, conservation and curation of small artefacts, but in 2020 the project diving team receives no public funding, with currently no grants from Historic England, DCMS or any other body to cover the costs of saving our maritime heritage from the eroding seabed. They personally cover these costs from their own pockets.

The NAS believes this is wrong and that if society really values its past it should help contribute to the costs of saving it, before it is too late.


You can donate Online or by Text Message

Donations can also be made on the website on this page or via text message - to donate by phone, just text SAVETHELONDON10 to 70085 to donate £10.00 or text SAVETHELONDON20 to donate £20.00. Standard message rates apply.


What will happen with your donation

60% of money raised will go to supporting the costs of the diving team from the London Shipwreck Trust and the conservation of artefacts recovered. 40% of the money raised will be used by the Nautical Archaeology Society to support ongoing fundraising, corporate partnership development and sponsorship efforts as well as developing the long term business plan to Save The London for the people of Southend-on-Sea and for us all.


Large Donations and Corporate Partnerships and Sponsorship

To discuss corporate partnership and sponsorship opportunities or large donations to the Save the London campaign please contact NAS CEO, Mark Beattie-Edwards on [email protected] or by calling +44(0)2392 818419.



Our Supporters

"The London is a highly significant part of the history of The Thames, please support its recovery and conservation." Sir Tony Robinson, Actor, Author, Presenter. 

“The London is not just a ship or a piece of archaeology, but a part of British history, and a vital piece of our maritime heritage” Phil Harding, Archaeologist, Presenter from Time Team. 

“The London provides a unique time capsule from some of the most turbulent times in our history. To save it will be a huge learning adventure and the provision of a fabulous educational and heritage destination that will provide something deeply moving to future generations” Sir Tim Smit, Co-Founder of The Eden Project.

“The plan to lift the London intact is inspirational. Not only will it ensure the preservation of the vessel but, by allowing us all to share the excitements of discovery as excavation proceeds, it will spread wide an appreciation of our great maritime tradition.” Sir Barry Cunliffe, Emeritus Professor of European Archaeology, University of Oxford.

“As Mayor of Southend, I fully support the work of the divers of The London Shipwreck Trust and wish them all the best in their fundraising endeavours to preserve the wonderful artefacts this fantastic shipwreck has uncovered. This shipwreck is not only a wonderful asset for our town of Southend, but is also historically important both nationally and internationally. The London shipwreck deserves to be recognised for its importance in maritime history.”  John Lamb, Mayor of Southend-on-Sea. 

“Historic England supports the Save the London campaign as it directly contributes to one of our own strategic objectives in relation to developing cultural partnerships and collaboration as well as increasing local community capacity”. Historic England.

“The PLA are excited to be working with the Nautical Archaeology Society and the London Shipwreck Trust to find the best possible solution for saving as much as possible of the London – a historically important and nationally protected shipwreck in the Thames Estuary”. Robin Mortimer, CEO of the Port of London Authority.

Thanks to National Maritime, Jobs in Maritime, Dive Master Insurance , Southend Museums , Beckett Rankine , Janice Gooch Heritage Consultancy , Perkins & Will, and Society for Underwater Technology for their support and advice. 


Above: Hear why local artist Alison Bournes is helping us to Save The London


Show Your Support - Help us show how many people care

Please sign our support form to allow us to demonstrate just how much and how many people care about our precious heritage. 


Above: The dive team from the London Shipwreck Trust diving the protected wreck in the Thames Estuary 

Above: The site lies right on the very edge of the commercial shipping lane and is subjected to turbulence created 

Above: Underwater visibility is mostly around 50cm meaning that working is a slow process

Above: The dedicated volunteer divers - Steve Meddle, Carol Ellis and Steve Ellis


Just some of the artefacts that have been saved from the London

Above: A rare cannon ball gauge 


Above: A Pulley Block


Above: A complete "build your own" barrel

Above: The beautiful sundial


Above: Gunpowder cartridge cases


Above: Comb

Above: Completely intact bottle that's been in the Thames for over 350 years

Above: A flexible rammer for loading the guns

Above: A seal ring and pipe damper

Above: Our favourite -  one of the many leather shoes with string tie and wooden heel 


Above: A pewter spoon