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Date 1996

Event ID 932311

Category Documentary Reference

Type Reference


NM 748 356. Work continued on the site of a designated historic shipwreck believed to be that of the Swan, a small warship lost during Cromwell's suppression of the Earl of Glencairn's revolt in support of the Royalist cause in 1653. Pre-disturbance survey was concluded with the completion of contouring at 25cm intervals. In situ stabilisation was initiated on the seven cast-iron guns and a wrought-iron anchor exposed on the sea bed by connecting them to aluminium anodes. Trial excavation was conducted at the E end of the site with the aim of defining its down-tide periphery. Little was found except an isolated deposit of wooden debris which contained the well-preserved rear part of the ships binnacle and the base of a mariner's compass. These finds confirm that this part of the wreck derives from the stern of the ship and that significant parts of the upper structure and its contents, though collapsed, have probably survived within the mobile sediments which lie at the base of the cliff a few metres to the W. Controlled rescue excavation of these deposits will begin in 1997.

Sponsors: Historic Scotland, Russell Trust, Esmee Fairbairn Charitable Trust, Glenfiddich Living Scotland Awards, Honda UK, St Andrews University.

C J M Martin 1996, M Ponsford and R Jackson 1997

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