Historic England protects three shipwrecks
In August 2016, three historic shipwrecks in South West England have beenwere given protection by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) on the advice of Historic England.
Historic England wrote:
Shipwrecks have been a source of inspiration to English writers, artists and scholars for centuries – from Shakespeare to Enid Blyton, whose Famous Five spent a whole summer exploring a fictional Cornish wreck. This summer, these wrecks have been given special protection, and they include two that are often publicly accessible from the Devon sands.
Shifting sands and weather patterns can allow the public to see sights that are usually the preserve of divers. When the conditions are right, visitors to Devon can see this important historic coastal fabric, which has now been identified and given state protection, from dry land. Dating from the late Medieval period to the late 18th century, all three wrecks are rare survivals of wooden sailing vessels found in English waters and are protected for their potential to shed new light on key periods of England's maritime history.
The earliest wreck, known as the Axe Boat, lies in a mud bank on the west side of the Axe River in south Devon. Before appearing out of the mud in 2001 following changes in the flow of the River Axe, the wreck was unrecorded, suggesting it has remained buried in the riverbed within living memory. It’s a rare example of vessels of the late medieval period and dating of extracted samples of wood indicates that it was built between 1400 and 1640. The hull retains characteristic features of medieval ships such as the ‘crook’d floor’ – a Y-shaped framing timber at the bottom of the vessel.
The Axe Boat is likely to have been used in coastal trade or fishing and such vessels were once prolific as England’s mercantile trade developed. Axmouth was ranked as a major port by the mid-14th century and accounted for 15% of the country’s shipping trade.
The other two wrecks lie a few hundred metres apart on the sands at Northam Burrows Country Park in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in North Devon. They date to the late 18th century and have been exposed by the elements a number of times over the past few decades, most recently following the winter storms of 2014.
The larger wreck at Westward Ho! (23metres long x 7 metres wide) is nationally important because it still retains its key identifying features despite the effects of erosion, with the ship’s construction and orientation clearly visible. It is believed to be the remains of the 'Sally', which ran aground on the sands in 1769, while bound from Oporto in Portugal to Bristol with a cargo of port wine.
The smaller boat was probably a Severn Trow, a small merchant ship working locally in the Bristol Channel coastline around 200 years ago. It is lying at such an angle that it appears to have been driven ashore in a storm. 11,000 vessels are known to have been wrecked in England waters in the late 18th century and few from this period have been discovered other than naval ships or important trading vessels such as East India Company ships. Together, the two wrecks are significant because they represent England's commercial ambitions of the time.
All three wrecks lie in sand or in mud in the inter-tidal zone so are freely accessible to visit on public land at the points when they are uncovered. No diving licence is required, though attention must be given to local tidal conditions.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
- Heritage assets.
- Historic England.
- IHBC articles.
- Institute of Historic Building Conservation.
- Listed buildings.
- Scheduled monuments.
 External references
Featured articles and news
Reports from IHBC’s journal Context that covered the IHBC’s 2016 Annual School visit to Dudley, which covered both the Tecton work at the Castle as well as regeneration in the town, have been used to shape a new article for IHBC’s Conservation Wiki on the modernist work and its conservation.
IHBC trustee John Edwards has featured an article in the November issue of the RICS Property Journal where he ‘argues that traditional buildings are in need of better treatment and understanding’ by the profession.
A £10 million Green Gas Mill, which produces heating for 4000 houses using green gas from grass, has been granted planning permission by Winchester City Council.
Eyemouth in the Scottish Borders is the latest community to benefit from funding from the Scottish Land Fund, with an eco-innovation centre being established in the former Town Hall, a ‘Category B’ Listed Building.
The iconic Grade I (GI) listed Royal Liver Building in Liverpool is to be marketed for sale.
The national architectural charity, the Victorian Society (Vic Soc), released its 2016 Top Ten Endangered Buildings list, while Griff Rhys Jones, Victorian Society Vice President, has urged people living near the buildings on the list to ‘seize the opportunity' and campaign to save them.
The Construction Industry Council (CIC) has launched its brand refresh with a new logo and strapline: BUILT ENVIRONMENT PROFESSIONS TOGETHER
The ‘Farmer Review’, a report commissioned by the government and carried out by Cast Consultants, has concluded that the construction sector must ‘modernise or die’, being highly critical in relation to its delivery, innovation, investment and training practices.
BBC News explores how the structure of a Grade II* listed 1930s home of Gerald Schlesinger and Christopher Tunnard, managed to help keep a secret that would otherwise have criminalised its owners, as its ‘LGBTQ’ history has now been officially acknowledged in the nations heritage.
The IHBC helps UK Civic Trusts to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the introduction of Conservation Areas, with a fund allocation of up to £2500, including a prize of a place at the IHBC’s Annual School on offer for the most effective project.