Dunwich wreck listed after gun theft

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Dunwich wreck listed after gun theft

A 16th-century shipwreck on the Dunwich Bank in Suffolk has been added to Historic England's Heritage at Risk Register.

Thought to be either an armed merchant ship or a rare example of an early military transport vessel, the wreck has been included on the list after a bronze gun was stolen from the site last summer.

No ship structure or items such as ballast are currently visible at the 15m-deep site, says HE, but it says it is possible that they may be buried in sediment at present.

Marine archaeologist and director of Suffolk Underwater Studies Stuart Bacon discovered the wreck in 1994 and recovered one bronze gun, which was originally displayed in his shop but can now be seen at the Dunwich Museum.

“It’s a very hostile site and because of the amount of sediment in the water you have to work in the pitch dark by touch and sound – you would need to be a quite accomplished North Sea diver to go down,” he told the Ipswich Star.

“The ship’s guns should really be brought ashore so they can be cared for – not left to degrade in the sea and be at risk of being stolen. I asked eight or ten times for an excavation license and was refused.”

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