List entry

List entry Summary 

This site is designated under the Protection of Wrecks Act 1973 as it is or may prove to be the site of a vessel lying wrecked on or in the sea bed and, on account of the historical, archaeological or artistic importance of the vessel, or of any objects contained or formerly contained in it which may be lying on the sea bed in or near the wreck, it ought to be protected from unauthorised interference. Protected wreck sites are designated by Statutory Instrument. The following information has been extracted from the relevant Statutory Instrument.

Name: STUDLAND BAY WRECK

List entry Number: 1000045

Location

Named Location:

Location Description:

Studland Bay, off Dorset

Competent Authority:

The site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Latitude Longitude
50.66141474-1.91453882

National Grid Reference: SZ 06137 84641

Date first designated22-Oct-1984

Date of most recent amendment: 17-Jul-1998

Legacy System Information

The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System: AMIE - Wrecks

UID: 1082101

Asset Groupings

This site does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Information provided under the Statutory Instrument heading below forms part of the official record of a protected wreck site. Information provided under other headings does not form part of the official record of the designation. It has been compiled by English Heritage to aid understanding of the protected wreck site.

Summary of Site

Remains of an armed cargo vessel, thought to have been Spanish, which appears to have foundered in Studland Bay during the first quarter of the 16th century. Survey and excavation have revealed that the ship was constructed in carvel fashion, and numerous wooden items, a cannon and cannon balls, together with large amounts of early 16th century pottery. In addition a number of ballast stones have been identified as coming from the Basque region of Spain.

Reason for Designation

Statutory Instruments

1984/1658 1988/2137 1998/1746

History

The site was discovered in January 1983 by divers from Hamworthy Sub-Aqua Club investigating a fisherman's net fastening. Following excavation, the dating of the wreck to approximately 1520 is based on the assessment of the ceramic assemblage, and the style of ship construction. It is possible, considering the date and origin of the pottery found associated with the wreck, and the style of the vessel's construction, when compared with other known wrecks of the medieval period, that this was a merchant trader from Spain. As the trade with Spain was severely curtailed after Henry VIII's divorce from Catherine of Aragon it is likely the vessel may have been trading in these waters during the first quarter of the sixteenth century before relations between Spain and England deteriorated.

Details

Designation History: Designation Order: (No 2), No 1658, 1984 Made: 22nd October 1984 Laid before Parliament: 5th November 1984 Coming into force: 27th November 1984 Protected area: 50 metres within 50 39.68 N 01 54.80 W

Designation Order: No 2137, 1988 Made: 7th December 1988 Laid before Parliament: 13th December 1988 Coming into force: 14th December 1988 Protected area: 75 metres within 50 39.67 N 01 54.79 W

Designation Order: (No.2) No 1746, 1998 Made: 17th July 1998 Laid before Parliament: 20th July 1998 Coming into force: 10th August 1998 Protected area: 75 metres within 50 39.65 N 001 54.79 W

No part of the restricted area lies above the high-water mark of ordinary spring tides.

Documentary History: Although dated to the early sixteenth century, the wreck was originally believed to be the Spanish carrack San Salvador, the flagship of the Paymaster General of the Spanish Armada, which was sunk in November 1588. Damaged and on fire after action off Portland, the San Salvador was boarded by a prize crew and taken to Portland Roads where she was stripped of cannon and virtually everything of value. Later, while being moved to Portsmouth, she capsized and sank in Studland Bay.

Considering the nature and dating of some the artefacts, this interpretation now seems unlikely. It is possible, considering the date and origin of the pottery found associated with the wreck, and the style of the vessel's construction, especially when compared with other known wrecks of the medieval period, that this was a merchant trader from Spain. As the trade with Spain was severely curtailed after Henry VIII's divorce from Catherine of Aragon it is likely the vessel may have been trading in English waters during the first quarter of the 16th century before relations between Spain and England deteriorated.

A possible candidate for the identification of this wreck site is the Santa Maria de Luce. It has also been suggested that the remains may be associated with those of the nearby Swash Channel protected wreck site.

Archaeological History: Lying lies east of the main shipping channel into Poole Harbour, in approximately 10 metres of water, the wreck was discovered in the spring of 1984 by divers from the Hamworthy Sub-Aqua Club investigating a fisherman's fastener. The wreck's timbers are thought to have been revealed during storms in 1983/4.

Timbers were first noted exposed on the seabed in an area 23 metres by 4 metres lying approximately north-south. Further survey and excavation showed that the ship survived as distinct areas of wreckage on the seabed, with most of the framing and the timbers from the starboard area comprising one of these, and the keel and lower hull resting intact, in another. A corroded and encrusted gun, timbers and numerous small objects were found in the third area to the south-east. The heel of the keel, which was detached from the vessel, was raised in 1986 and is presently in storage. Ballast stones were recovered and approximately half of these have been identified as coming from the Basque region in Spain.

Examination of the hull has shown that the ship was constructed in a southern-European style, with the outer planks butted closely together carvel-fashion.

The archaeological archive is held by Poole Museums.

Selected Sources

Books and journals
'The Dorset Natural History and Archaeological Society' in Proceedings of the Dorset Natural History and Archaeological Society, , Vol. 106, (1984)
'International Journal of Nautical Archaeology' in International Journal of Nautical Archaeology, (), 69-85
'International Journal of Nautical Archaeology' in International Journal of Nautical Archaeology, (), 24-41
'The journal of the Society for Post-Medieval Archaeology' in Post-Medieval Archaeology: The Journal of the Society for Post-Medieval Archaeology, , Vol. 22, (1988)
'The Dorset Natural History and Archaeological Society' in Proceedings of the Dorset Natural History and Archaeological Society, , Vol. 107, (1985), 173-174
'The Dorset Natural History and Archaeological Society' in Proceedings of the Dorset Natural History and Archaeological Society, , Vol. 109, (1987)
'The journal of the Society for Post-Medieval Archaeology' in Post-Medieval Archaeology: The Journal of the Society for Post-Medieval Archaeology, , Vol. 19, (1985)
'The Dorset Natural History and Archaeological Society' in Proceedings of the Dorset Natural History and Archaeological Society, , Vol. 108, (1986), 190-191
Ladle, L, 'Poole Museum Heritage Series' in The Studland Bay wreck: a Spanish shipwreck off the Dorset coast, (1993)
Other
"The Early 16th Century Wreck at Studland Bay, Dorset" by G Hutchinson, Carvel Construction Technique, (1991)

Chart

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This copy shows the entry on 01-Nov-2014 at 11:12:05.