The Hazardous Project

Hampshire and Wight Trust for Maritime Archaeology, 2005

Data copyright © Hampshire and Wight Trust for Maritime Archaeology unless otherwise stated


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Hampshire and Wight Trust for Maritime Archaeology
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Introduction

Photograph of cannon from the site

The wreck site of Warship Hazardous has been under archaeological investigation for over twenty years. This work has been undertaken by a local volunteer group, the Hazardous Project team (308 SAA), with the support of a range of archaeological advisors and organisations.

The ship was originally built by the French in 1698 but was captured and re-commissioned into the English Navy. In 1706, it was driven into shoal waters in Brackelsham Bay, West Sussex in poor weather. The capture and refit is an important aspect in the archaeological significance of Hazardous. Techniques of ship design and construction developed by the French are present on the ship which were eventually incorporated into English ship construction. Hazardous is one of only 55 Protected Wrecks around the coast of Great Britain. It is designated under the Protection of Wrecks Act 1973 and all diving and archaeological investigation must be licensed.

There has only been limited excavation on the site, which was undertaken in the late 1980's. This demonstrated the potential of the site, however, this has not been capitalised upon. Work since has been restricted to survey and surface recovery of artefacts that have been eroded from the sediment of this highly dynamic site.

The active erosion of the site means that archaeological survey is only 'fire fighting' as artefacts become dislodged and much of their contextual information lost. This led to a proposal to create a coherent, fully referenced archive of work undertaken to date and build a foundation for future work. The archive project was funded by English Heritage and undertaken by the Hazardous Project Team and the Hampshire & Wight Trust for Maritime Archaeology.