Wreck Is Confirmed As ‘Highly Significant’

There’s been a development with a wreck discovered in the Tresco Channel. English Heritage has confirmed that Dave McBride’s find is, ‘highly significant’ and they’ll now investigate whether the site needs legal protection.

Alison James, maritime archaeologist for English Heritage, believes it could be one of the earliest wreck sites around the British Isles.

Dave found the pottery while diving on a commercial job in the Tresco Channel and around 400 pieces have now been recovered.

Expert John Allen from Exeter University was working at the Isles of Scilly museum and identified the pieces as French Saintonge pottery dating from 1250-1350. It suggests trade between the Bordeaux region and Tresco’s monks at the St Nicholas Priory.

Most islanders would have been too poor to import the wine.

It’s thought it could be from a ship that went missing in 1305 and, if confirmed a wreck, then it will be only one from this era in the whole country, but Dave still feels it is too early to say.

Marine archaeologist Kevin Camidge says all the pottery had come from one very tight area, which suggests a wreck, as does the discovery of animal bones, indicating there were animals onboard.

Kevin will return in October to see what shows up.

Any excavations would have to be done in the winter and done sensitively because there are two prime Tresco Estate moorings in this area and if they were to protect the site by the usual method they’d loose them.

The site is well-travelled so unauthorised interference would be spotted easily but the wreck isn’t thought to contain treasure, in any case.

Dave thinks that if an excavation is allowed it would not be long before complete items were found, as, “everything is coming up like it was buried yesterday.”

Mary Tetley, the Chief Executive of the British Sub Aqua Club has praised Dave’s dedication and hard work, which she says, has been rewarded with such a fascinating find.


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