Heritage Minister Andrew McIntosh Acts To Protect Wreck Site Of Early 17th Century Ship In Poole Harbour, Dorset


Heritage Minister Andrew McIntosh has today announced that the wreck site of an early 17th century ship has been designated under the Protection of Wrecks Act 1973.

The Order, which came into effect from Friday 10 December, will protect the site from being damaged by unauthorised interference from divers.

The Swash Channel Wreck was discovered in Poole Harbour, Dorset in August this year.  Two dive investigations by Wessex Archaeology have since confirmed the presence of a wooden ship of the early 17th century and cannon. 

Andrew McIntosh said:

" This is an important wreck both in historical and archaeological terms.  It is likely to be well preserved and rare in terms of its quality and the quantity of the surviving structure and is already yielding invaluable information about ships of this period.

" This Order is particularly timely as the location of the wreck has been publicised and we need to protect it from potential damage by divers visiting the site. "


Note to Editors

The Secretary of State has power under the Protection of Wrecks Act 1973 to designate wreck sites which she is satisfied ought to be protected from unauthorised interference on account of their archaeological, historical or artistic importance.  Before making a designation order, the Secretary of State is required to consult with appropriate persons (unless she is satisfied that the order should be made as a matter of immediate urgency).  Once designated, it is a criminal offence for a person to interfere with the site except under the authority of a licence. 



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