Welcome to the London Wreck project
The project is dedicated to exploration by divers of the "London" which sank off the coast of Southend nearly 350 years ago. This post medieval wreck is known for it's historical importance but as it is situated on the edge of a busy shipping channel, diving poses difficulties.
The "London" is situated a short boat ride from Southend pier, in the Thames Estuary. It is a protected wreck under the Protection of Wrecks act 1973 due to the shifting sediment levels on the seabed and the fragile archaeological remains, so a license is required to dive the site. The Port of London also require dive permits due to the location and the neccesity to slow the passing ships during diving operations.
A group of local, amateur, diving friends, with experience of the fierce currents and poor ( often blackwater) visibility had the opportunity to dive this fascinating site as Steven Ellis acquired a visiting licence during 2010 from English Heritage. With this fantastic opportunity and an interest in local heritage and Maritime Archaeology, the group were keen to develop their knowledge and practical skills so trained with the Nautical Archaeological Society.
The licence progressed to a survey licence enabling the team to survey the site, followed by a recovery licence to enable surface recovery of arteracts and more recently an excavation licence.
Much support has been received and gratefully appreciated, from English Heritage throughout this project, in the funding and training of the team of divers, as well as Southend Museum who assist in the preservation, storage and exhibition of finds for public interest.