Archaeologists hunt for clues on old abandoned Shoreham boat

Archaeologists from UCL want to find out more about the remains of a boat in Shoreham
Archaeologists from UCL want to find out more about the remains of a boat in Shoreham

Archaeologists are looking to discover more about a historic boat abandoned in Shoreham, which could be the last surviving craft of its type, before it is destroyed by flood defence work.

A team from University College London are carrying out limited excavations on what remains of the timber vessel, which lies half exposed on the east shore of the River Adur in Shoreham below the railway bridge.

Archaeologist Neil Griffin said the ‘fragile boat’, which is probably a fishing vessel from the mid nineteenth century, was in a ‘sorry state’ and said: “It is probably of limited value in terms of social history but it may be the only surviving vessel of its type – which makes it worthwhile to make a record of it.”

Anecdotal evidence gleaned so far suggests the craft, which was 14m and roughly 3.7m wide, was converted into a houseboat before being abandoned on the river bank in the 1960s.

Now the archaelogists are hoping residents in Shoreham might be able to help fill in the gaps in their knowledge.

Anyone who remembers the boat appearing on the shore, or has photos showing the craft intact, contact the team at fau@ucl.ac.uk

What remains of the boat will be unavoidably damaged during construction of Adur Tidal Walls.