Chesil Beach Protected Wrecks Community Archaeology Project

In 2019 the Nautical Archaeology Society (NAS) and the Maritime Archaeology Trust (MAT) will be running training activities and series of public events based around the Chesil Beach protected wrecks off the coast of Weymouth.  Activities will be held in conjunction with the local licensee(s), to create a team of local wreck custodians.  By upskilling local community members, including divers, the wrecks will be respected and further investigated.

Two of the cannons from the Chesil Beach Protected Wreck - NAS 2018

An additional project outcome will be the creation of a digital 3D annotated tour (Dive Trail) of the site created by the Maritime Archaeology Trust to enable non-diver appreciation of the heritage asset. These activities and products will help ensure the site’s future protection and provide added knowledge about the wrecks to the local community and contribute new information to the historic environment record.

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The Chesil Beach Protected Wreck lies on the seaward side of Chesil Beach in Dorset. It was discovered in 2010 and comprises two distinct areas of wreck. An inshore site comprises eight heavily concreted cast iron cannon identified as English 24-32 pounders cast between 1650 and 1725. Lying 220m south of the cannon assemblage, the offshore site consists of seven very heavily concreted cast iron English cannon, one of which is probably a six pounder, cast in the second half of the seventeenth century.  Depth 12-15m. 

For more information visit the Historic England listing entry here.

Chesil Beach Site 1 photogrammetry and site plan - Copyright Wessex Archaeology 2016

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FREE TRAINING COURSES AND FIELDWORK !

It is not that often that we are able to offer access to free training and project opportunities, but thanks to funding from Historic England and our project partners at Maritime Archaeology Trust that is exactly what we can now do. If you are a diver in Dorset and surrounding UK counties and interested in becoming an active member of a protected wreck licenced dive team then this is for you.

NAS and MAT have put together a great project targeted at the Chesil Beach Protected Wreck (12-15m) that will include education, training, outreach events, a 3D Dive Tour as well as fieldwork on this protected wreck that lies off Chesil Beach.

To participate as a diver we are looking to give you FREE* introductory knowledge and skills through online and face to face training, as well as non-diving courses in gun recording and photogrammetry techniques. Dates are listed in the attached flyer and below. In order to qualify for FREE training all divers are expected to commit to at least 2 days volunteering on site between the 21-27 September 2019.

Underwater Archaeology Combined theory - FREE Online eLearning course. Costs £45.00, but refunded if completed by 13/9/19.

14 or 15 Sept 2019. FREE Underwater Skills Days (1 day) - Osprey Sports Centre, Portland (Pool Diving).

17 or 31 August 2019 (not the 30th as was posted in some media). FREE Gun Recording (1 day) - Osprey Sports Centre, Portland (Non-Diving).

18 August or 1 September 2019. FREE Photogrammetry (1 day)-  Osprey Sports Centre, Portland (Non Diving). With Martin Davies from InDepth Photography and Brandon Mason from the Maritime Archaeology Trust.

21-22 September 2019, FREE Fieldwork weekend. Diving from Wey Chieftian IV

23-27 September 2019, FREE Fieldwork week. Diving from Wey Chieftian IV

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NAS members working on the Chesil Beach Wrecks in 2018

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To register or to ask any questions contact the project team on [email protected] or call us on +44 (0)2392 818419

Pre-requisites: NAS Intro & Part 1 or Underwater Archaeology eLearning and Skills Day, Gun Recording and Photogrammetry course. BSAC Sports Diver or equivalent, minimum of 10 cold water/poor viz dives and trained in use of a DSMB.

Participants are expected to contribute to their own accommodation costs if needed.

* In order to qualify for FREE training all divers are expected to commit to at least 2 days volunteering on site between the 21-27 September 2019. **Online course costs £45.00 and will be refunded if completed by the 13 September 2019

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NAS 2018 divers with Wey Chieftain Skipper, Richard Bright-Paul