Women in Science: 10 minutes with a Maritime Archaeologist

To mark the UN’s International Day of Women and Girls in Science, 11th Feb 2017, we spoke to Alison James, Maritime Archaeologist at Historic England, about what inspires her in her work. Can you give us a brief introduction to what you do? I’m a Maritime Archaeologist at Historic England so I deal with the 52 protected wreck sites around the coast of England. They range from Bronze Age sites right through to 21st century submarines, from Northumberland down to the IslesRead more

Britain on the Brink of Starvation: Unrestricted Submarine Warfare

One hundred years ago today on 1 February 1917, Germany resumed its policy of ‘unrestricted submarine warfare.’  The seas around the British Isles were declared a war zone in which fishing vessels and unarmed merchant vessels, carrying essential items such as foodstuffs, coal and iron ore, would be attacked without warning by German U-boats. Featured image: UB106 on rocks Falmouth 1921 © Historic England/ Patrick Casement [see footnote 1] Prior to this a U-boat would surface, search a vessel, give theRead more

Devon’s Shipwrecks

Shipwrecks don’t just happen in the deep sea: many ships are driven ashore or lie slowly decaying along riverbanks, estuaries, and creeks. The Department for Culture, Media and Sport has given protection to three such ‘shoreline’ wrecks on Historic England’s recommendation. For all three, one of the major factors in assessing their national significance for protection was their rarity. Generally speaking, the further back we go in time, the rarer the evidence is for shipwrecks around England’s coasts. So justRead more

Discovered by Disaster: 6 Astounding Archaeological Finds from Environmental Change

Those of us working with the past can occasionally be viewed as stuck in it, not wanting things to change, but actually for archaeologists change is our bread and butter. We are obsessed with how, and why, people and their places have changed through time. Sometimes dramatic changes in the environment can lead to particularly exciting discoveries. Here are 6 of the best archaeological discoveries as a result of environmental change: Written by Hannah Fluck, Historic Environment Intelligence Officer, Historic England.Read more

Jutland’s Surviving Warships

During the First World War, the British Navy dominated the sea, intercepting and detaining thousands of merchant ships carrying vital supplies bound for Germany and their allies. This month marks one hundred years since the British Royal Navy’s Grand Fleet and the Imperial German Navy’s High Seas Fleet met in the North Sea area west of Denmark’s Jutland Peninsula. What ensued was the largest naval battle of the First World War with over 100,000 sailors involved on 250 ships. MoreRead more

8 Things You May Not Know About the Battle of Jutland

The Battle of Jutland was the bloodiest naval confrontation of the First World War, involving 250 vessels and nearly 100,000 men.  The British Grand Fleet, whose key commanders were Admiral John Jellicoe and the then Vice-Admiral David Beatty, fought the German High Seas Fleet off the coast of Denmark. 6,097 British and Empire lives were lost, as well as 2,551 German. Neither side won a decisive victory, but the confrontation changed the course of the war, ultimately bringing the UnitedRead more

8 Important Sites Rescued and Removed from the Heritage at Risk Register

1. Elizabeth Gaskell’s House, Manchester (Grade II*) The home of Victorian novelist Elizabeth Gaskell has been brought back to life following a lengthy local campaign costing £2.5 million, which included grant aid from English Heritage. Through a constructive conservation project led by the Manchester Historic Buildings Trust, the site has been removed from the At Risk register and is now open to the public. The restored interior not only provides office and community space but now evokes the atmosphere of the 1860s when MrsRead more

5 Iconic Sites Added to this Year’s Heritage at Risk Register

1. Eastbourne Pier, Sussex One of the most important piers of its kind in the country, Eastbourne Pier was added to the Heritage at Risk Register this summer after a devastating fire engulfed about a third of the structure and destroyed the landward arcade building. English Heritage is giving expert advice on the rebuild and is pleased the eastern walkway has now reopened helping local businesses at the end of the pier. 2. Shipwreck Hazardous, West Sussex coast An important protected wreck site added to theRead more