Our Public Archaeology Project at Sandwich Flats is temporarily on hold - while we bring in the experts to help us learn more!

If you're on Sandwich Flats at low tide 21-24 March 2023 you'll see a small group of people in hi-viz vests loitering around the wooden wrecks. Don't be alarmed if you see them wielding hand saws and chainsaws - they are internationally renown dendrochronologists who have come to carefully collect wood samples from each wreck. These samples will be scientifically tested to find out the age and origin of the timber.

Once we're armed with that new information about the timber from the wrecks, then next step will be to work out where and when the vessels were made and possibly why they ended up on Sandwich Flats. We'll need a lot of interested volunteers to help with that work!

In the meantime, come and hear how the timber testing is going and feel free to ask questions! 

Public Talk and Question Time
7:30-8:30pm Wednesday 22 March
Sandwich Bay Bird Observatory, CT13 9PF

Public Beach Walk
8-9:30am Saturday 25 March
Departing carpark south of Princes Golf Club, CT13 9QB

All are welcome!

No matter whether wooden wrecks, fish traps, metal planes or individual finds are your thing, come and practice your archaeological skills on the beach at Sandwich Flats!

Since 2019 we've been running community archaeology projects on this amazing 5 mile stretch of beach in Kent, UK. Plans are under way for 2023. To get put on the mailing list to be kept informed, contact [email protected]

In 2020 we went back to Sandwich Flats to keep recording the amazing amount of archaeological sites along this beach. We teamed up with CITiZAN East Kent Coast Discovery Programme to run training and fieldwork opportunities for people of all interests and abilities.

In 2021 there was a focus on developing participants' archaeological skills as well as creating up to date records of the sites we discover.

When we return again, we will offer a range of activities including:

  • Walk-over survey
  • 2D measured tape survey
  • GPS surveys of wreck sites, fish traps and individual finds
  • Wreck conservation assessments
  • CITiZAN training
  • Photogrammetry recording
  • Beach level monitoring
  • Site Recorder practice 
  • Use of the CITiZAN app to record coastal features

We tailor the fieldwork to the interests and abilities of the participants and will be out on the beach for as long as the tide will let us!

Who can participate?
Anyone! Young or old, novice or experienced avocational archaeologists – everyone is welcome to participate for free. Anyone under 18 years old must be supervised by an adult at all times.

Image: 'Look at all the archaeology out there!' The 2018 MSDS/NAS/Volunteer team.

How do I sign up?
To find out about plans just send an email to [email protected]

What have we found so far?

The answer is - a lot more than we thought! Apart from the ten shipwrecks, one plane wreck and the individual finds there are hundreds of wooden stakes on the beach which we think are the remains of fish traps... but we're not sure yet!

Check out our geolocated map of all the sites we've found so far. Have the map on your phone and use it to find all the sites while walking on the beach.