Beached ruins thought to be remains of 18th century ship

Remnants of what is thought to be an 18th century ship found by Mark Hopkins on Thorpeness beach

Remnants of what is thought to be an 18th century ship found by Mark Hopkins on Thorpeness beach - Credit: Archant

Remnants of a what is thought to be a centuries-old shipwreck have resurfaced on the Suffolk coast.

Remnants of what is thought to be an 18th century ship found by Mark Hopkins on Thorpeness beach

Remnants of what is thought to be an 18th century ship found by Mark Hopkins on Thorpeness beach - Credit: Archant

Mark Hopkins was strolling along the beach near his home in Thorpeness when he spotted a giant hunk of wood on the shingle shore.

Closer investigation led Mr Hopkins to suspect the timber may have originated from a foundered galleon.

“It looks very well preserved,” he said. “It’s very large and partly buried under the shingle, so could be a lot larger.

“There are holes where pegs would go, to hold multiple levels together.”


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At first glance, the piece of wood looks like the remains of a coastal defence groyne – but after hearing it described, Orford marine archaeologist, Stuart Bacon, said it was probably the ruins of an 18th century ship he had previously examined.

“Things get covered and uncovered, and then covered again,” he said.

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“Over the years I’ve heard of these sightings. It was first discovered in 1999.”

Mr Bacon said the piece of timber he examined measured 40ft and came from the lower section of a sailing ship dating from the 18th century.

“It’s very interesting because it must have come from a sizable vessel,” he said.

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