Welsh Wrecks Web Research Project

Are you:

  • Following self-isolating advice?
  • Requiring a new stimulating outlet?
  • Meticulous & organised (just like this list!)?
  • Looking to engage with a constructive activity?
  • Not wanting to come into contact with other people?
  • Wanting something to do that does not involve going out?
  • In need of something to dip in and out of whenever time allows?
  • Principally wishing to maintain an interest in Maritime Archaeology?

If any of the above describes you, then how about undertaking some online research into the hundreds of shipwrecks around the Welsh coast?

The above map is taken from "Shipwrecks of North Wales" by Ivor Wynne Jones, and shows around 38% of the wrecks on MADU’s database.

Check out the Database today

The Malvern Archaeological Diving Unit (MADU) currently have a database of 453 shipwrecks in the north end of Cardigan Bay in north west Wales. The list was compiled between 2001 and 2009 when MADU were working under licence on the Welsh designated wreck site known as the Diamond. These 453 wrecks, date from 1590 to 1993 and very few have been investigated in any depth! With corona virus currently requiring us all to rethink the way we live, on-line research would appear to be something we could all safely consider taking on.

A printout of the database

How to get Involved

So, if taking on some on-line research into a couple of the vessels on the database is something that appeals to you, simply follow the following steps:

  1. Send an e-mail to Ian Cundy at: [email protected] saying “I’m interested in participating in the www Research Project”.
  2. Ian will then send you a copy of their database, showing which wrecks are still looking for a researcher.
  3. Once you have selected a couple of wrecks of your choice to research, e-mail Ian again to let him know which vessels you have chosen.
  4. Your name will be placed against the wrecks selected (to avoid any duplication of research) and a set of Guidance Notes will be sent to you to advise on how best to proceed with your on-line research, together with a copy of the preferred format for submitting the results from your research.


It is intended that this project will run until the end of 2020, at which time a compilation of all the reports received will be made, and as early as possible in 2021 the results of your collective efforts will be forwarded to the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales (RCAHMW) and the Gwynedd Archaeological Trust (GAT).

However reports don’t have to wait until the end of the year to be submitted, and ideally should be forwarded to MADU as soon as your research has gathered as much information as it appears possible to obtain (without leaving your home!).  Once submitted, if the exercise has proved to have been of interest, and your enthusiasm for shipwreck research suitable whetted(!) you will be more than welcome to take on another wreck (or two) from the database.    


  • There is no charge for your engagement with this project (It’s FREE).
  • Reports on your research can be as long or as short as you like, and will likely be determined by:
    • The information that is available out there on-line.
    • The time you are able to dedicate to the project.
  • As mentioned above, copies of completed reports from your research will be co-ordinated by MADU, for forwarding to:
    • The RCAHMW for adding to the Welsh maritime historical record and for possible inclusion into their Coflein on-line database.
    • GAT for adding to their regional Historic Environment Record (HER) and for possible inclusion into their Archwilio on-line database for North West Wales.
  • Everything you submit will be recorded and credited to you as being your work.
  • By contributing to the research, you will also gain credits towards your NAS Certificate or Award in Maritime Archaeology. 5-credits will be awarded for every report submitted, up to a maximum of 4- reports (i.e. 20-credits).
  • The project is intended to provide an easy way to engage with, and gain practical first-hand experience, of researching on-line, and will hopefully prove to be of use in any future research you may need to undertake.  
  • With your help, the www Research Project hosted by MADU will hopefully ensure something constructive in the field of Maritime Archaeology emerges from the corona virus pandemic.


A lone NAS surfer, researching on-line