Assembling a (Princes Channel) wreck…

1 05 2009

Halfway through our modeling course we made a first attempt to join the five different hull sections of the Princes Channel Wreck. On the one hand we wanted to establish the “missing link” between the bow and the hull of our ship and on the other hand we hoped to get a first idea about the size of the ship.

Assembling the Princes Channel wreck

Assembling the Princes Channel wreck

We mounted the bow section on a large wooden frame and then assembled the remainder of the hull using temporary fixings such as wire and chocks. Thin plastic splines were used to control curvature and assure fair lines. Although this was our first attempt, which involved a lot of improvisation, we got a first idea about the size of the Princes Channel Wreck or Gresham Ship. it looks as if we are dealing with a merchant vessel of at least 25m length at the level of the lowest (and possibly only) continuous deck.

All sections joined

All sections joined

As a next step we’re going to build a larger reconstruction frame and attempt a more permanent reconstruction which will also allow taking off a first set of lines. At the same time the working groups have started to work on larger 1:10 scale wooden models in order to reconstruct the construction sequence of the Princes Channel Wreck.

Jens Auer
Assistant Professor
Maritime Archaeology Programme





Gresham Ship article in Post Medieval Archaeology

23 09 2008

An article on the Gresham Ship/ Princes Channel Wreck, which summarises the current state of the project has just been posted in Post Medieval Archaeology:

The `Gresham Ship’: an interim report on a 16th-century wreck from Princes Channel, Thames Estuary

Authors: Auer, Jens; Firth, Antony

Source: Post-Medieval Archaeology, Volume 41, Number 2, December 2007 , pp. 222-241(20)

Publisher: Maney Publishing

A .pdf version of the article can be downloaded here.

Jens Auer

Assistant Professor

Maritime Archaeology Programme





The Gresham Project Fieldwork Part II

15 07 2008

MAP students are just back from a second fieldwork session in Horsea lake, Portsmouth, UK.

Recording in Horsea Lake

Recording in Horsea Lake

The diving fieldwork was part of the Gresham Wreck Hull Study Programme and focussed on finishing the on-site recording of the so called Gresham Wreck, a 16th century merchantman which has been deposited in the brackish lake (see the project page for more detail). Students recorded surface detail on one of the wreck sections and partly disassembled the bow of the vessel to understand the construction. On 7th July, the MAP team was visited by participants of the IKUWA conference fieldschool who also dived the wreck. See pictures from the survey on our Flickr page. The Maritime Archaeology Programme would like to thank the friendly personnel of the Defence Diving School in Portsmouth for their support.

Jens Auer

Assistant Professor

Maritime Archaeology Programme





The Gresham Project Fieldwork Part I

31 08 2007

In August 2007, the Maritime Archaeology Programme spent a first fieldwork session on the Gresham wreck in Horsea lake in Portsmouth. The aim was to re-tag the wreck timbers with new, longer lasting tags and stainless steel nails and to record sections through remaining wreck structures in order to supplement previously acquired total station data.

Diver recording sections on the hull of the Princes Channel Wreck

Diver recording sections on the hull of the Princes Channel Wreck

The MAP team of two students and two lecturers was supported by a diver from the British Museum. Using commercial SCUBA equipment with surface communication facilities, all planned tasks could be completed in five diving days.

All framing timbers were marked with new timber tags. Sections were recorded with vertical offsets from a tape measure running along each frame. The data was processed by MAP students and added to the project archive. Pictures from the diving fieldwork can be found on our Flickr page.








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