Wednesday, 1 June 2016

The hidden history of Sandwich Bay - Hearts of Oak

This winter I set out a new direction looking for new discoveries away from the mire that has engulfed anything to do with heritage in Thanet heritage . For one I am tired of the plagiarism of recycled history and secondly I am fed up finding myself being shoved out on the margins of everything I get involved in. The straw that broke the camels back was trying to unravel the dire situation of Ramsgate art and artefacts in local government collections and Ramsgate overall.

So it is time to do my own thing and starting my own projects from blank discovering new finds and generating something new and interesting. The first step was to pick a new area of coastline.
My choice was Sandwich bay given its location to the Goodwins and Brake sands. As I do nothing in half measures I kitted my car out with all new equipment and treated myself to a GPS finder. I also created a list of new contacts so there is nothing I cannot handle.
My primary target is maritime history and to find anything from the 1600's to end of the Napoleonic wars, a difficult task but achievable.
During wintry weather it is not uncommon to find pieces of wooden shipwreck ashore that in most cases are like random pieces of a jig saw puzzle made of English Oak. To establish provenance is an impossibility but as artefacts of a particular era they are worth recording and if possible worth conserving.
A few weeks ago I came across this amazing piece of wreckage from a wooden sailing ship, it is unique in the fact that the bark of the tree is still intact making it a very old form of ship construction.
I have be given a date that its origin is from the 1600's, but I am no expert and I am still learning.
Attached are photographs of the find and I do welcome any opinion.