160 year-old mystery wreck named

Archaeologists locate remains of sailing barque sunk in 1852

Author: Pat
23rd May 2012
 

Marine archaeologists uncovering a wreck in The Solent have revealed it is a vessel that sank in 1852.

The Hampshire and Wight Trust for Maritime Archaeology (HWTMA) say they have identified the remains of the Flower of Ugie.

fishermen snagged nets on the wreck in 2003

A team of archaeologists has painstakingly spent eight years studying the wreck site since its accidental discovery by fishermen in 2003.

What’s left of the Flower of Ugie today lies in the Eastern Solent, on the Horse Tail Sands, close to the Isle of Wight.

Timbers lie in about 12 metres of water, in an area ominously licensed for dredging – although a restriction was quickly slapped in place.

The ship was a 19th century wooden sailing barque that sank in the Solent on the December 27th 1852. It had led a busy life up to this point however, traveling around Africa, India and the Far East, across the Med, Baltic and Atlantic, and shipping cargoes to the USA and Canada.

It therefore offered an irresistible glimpse into seaborne trading of the early Victorian era.

On the night of the sinking she was running from a ferocious storm off Portland – one that had already led the crew to chop two of her masts down. It wasn’t enough to save her from a watery grave.

Divers working on the site studied construction methods, materials and artefacts found on the seabed to gradually pin down the wreck’s identity.

The discovery and extensive excavation of the Flower of Ugie is detailed in a new interactive workbook for schools, published by the Hampshire and Wight Trust for Maritime Archaeology.

HWTMA video

 
 
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