Discovery of Medieval Boat in England Hailed ‘Rare and Important’
Archaeologists have discovered the remains of a medieval boat during construction of a drainage project along the River Chet, near Loddon in England, which dates back to around 1400. The finding has been hailed as ‘rare and important’ by the team because no boats of this date have previously been found in the region.
The 600-year-old oak timber frame vessel measures six-metres in length and is exceptionally well-preserved. It was found in a marshy area of the waterway network known as the Norfolk Broads
Made from wooden timbers, iron and copper alloy nails, the medieval boat appears to have been waterproofed using a mixture of animal hair and tar.
“This is an extremely rare and important find," site archaeologist Heather Wallis said. "No boats of this date have previously been found in Norfolk so this has been a unique opportunity to record and recover a vessel of this date and type.”
The boat, which would have had a sail, may have been used to carry light goods back and forth to markets along the rivers, lakes and canals of the Broads.
"This area has had a strong reliance on water transport and related industries, particularly since the creation of the Broads by peat digging in the medieval period", said Wallis.
The archaeology team now plans to recover the boat from its resting place to they can perform tests on the wood and date it. Eventually the medieval vessel will be freeze-dried and preserved for life in a Norfolk Museum.