England's Historic Seascapes: Southwold to Clacton

Oxford Archaeology (South), 2007

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Oxford Archaeology (South) (2007) England's Historic Seascapes: Southwold to Clacton [data-set]. York: Archaeology Data Service [distributor] https://doi.org/10.5284/1000277

Dunwich Bay

Wreck of the 'Dunwich Bank'

The Dunwich Bank wreck, one of the most important known shipwreck sites in the United Kingdom, was discovered in 1993. Although its identity is not certain, it is believed to be a 16th or 17th century armed merchant vessel or possibly a rare example of an early military transport vessel. It currently survives as a scatter of bronze and iron guns and iron concretions either fully exposed or partially buried, centred on a small mound, and another discreet group nearby. This site is unique in being the only known site in the UK with bronze guns still in situ, suggesting that no contemporary salvage took place. A cannon recovered from the site is thought to be of a type produced by Remigy de Halut of the Spanish Netherlands between 1536 and 1556, whose name is also visible on two of the guns that remain on the seabed, both dated to 1554. The possible longevity of the weapons gives a date for the wreck of within 100 years of 1556. (English Heritage website, http://stage.english-heritage.org.uk/server/show/ConWebDoc.6561)

The site is designated as a protected wreck under the Protection of Wrecks Act 1973 due to its historical and archaeological importance, and an exclusion zone of 100 m defined around it within which it is an offence to tamper with, damage or remove any objects or part of the vessel or to carry out any diving or salvage operation.

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