Ferriby Boats

The Ferriby Boats are three Bronze Age Britain sewn plank-built boats, parts of which were discovered at North Ferriby in the East Riding of the English county of Yorkshire. Only a small number of boats of a similar period have been found in Britain and the Ferriby examples are the earliest known sewn-plank boats found in Europe.

The Ferriby Boats - geograph.org.uk - 442080
A memorial at Ferriby to the finding of the boats
Ferriby boat replica in the Hull and East Riding Museum


Ferriby is on the edge of a major estuary into the North Sea, the Humber, so speculation has been made ever since their discovery about whether they went to sea and sailed to the Continent. There is plenty of evidence that there was cross-channel communication,[1] but it is not known what kind of boats actually sailed across. Keith Miller, a regional archaeologist told the BBC that Ferriby boats would have been used to cross the North Sea[2] and certainly the Ferriby Heritage Trust describe Ferriby Boat 3 as Europe's first known seacraft.[3] The BBC television programme Operation Stonehenge: What Lies Beneath Pt 2, broadcast on BBC Two in September 2014, describes the boat as seagoing and describes the tons of cargo it could have taken across the Channel. However, the Dover Museum consider that the Dover Bronze Age Boat is the oldest seagoing boat known, at only 1550 BC.[4] They are backed by a different channel and programme from the BBC- Neil Oliver in the Bronze Age episode of A History of Ancient Britain. They are also backed by the Time Team Special, broadcast in September 2014 on UK Channel 4, which stated that to be a proper sea-going, cross-channel vessel the boat would have to have the curved 'rocker' bottom and the (unproven) pointed bow that only the more modern Dover boat possesses. Confusingly, the Oakleaf reproduction of the Ferriby boats was given a pointed bow and the Ferriby boats are described by the museum that houses them as having curved rocker bottoms, which sounds much the same as the Dover boat.

Ferriby Boat 1

In 1937, the first boat, known as Ferriby Boat 1 (or F1), was discovered by Ted and Will Wright, on the shore of the Humber.[5] It was a boat bottom with one end almost complete. What remained was 5.7 feet (1.7 m) wide and over 43 feet (13.17 m) long, the planks mostly 3–4 inches thick. It was part of an oaken three-strake flat rockered-bottom boat which had been stitched together with yew withies, caulked with moss and capped with watertight oak laths. It has room for up to eighteen paddles and has been radiocarbon dated to between 1880 and 1680 BC.

Ferriby Boat 2

Sixty yards upstream, Ted Wright found the end of a second boat-plank in 1940.[5] This has become known as Ferriby Boat 2 (or F2). It is a twin-planked centre-strake dated to between 1940 and 1720 BC.

Ferriby Boat 3

In 1963, part of a third boat was discovered, again by Ted Wright, this time in the company of one of his sons, Roderick, and excavated adjoining Ferriby Boat 1. The remains consist of part of an outer bottom-strake and associated side-strake; many years later (in the late 1990s), scientists from Oxford were able to demonstrate that the third boat dated from as far back as 2030 BC, by the analysis of samples of the boat using accelerator mass spectrometry.

Ted Wright had formulated this theory much earlier, as set out in his book "The Ferriby Boats: Seacraft of the Bronze Age", published in 1990.


The original boats were excavated in 1946 and unfortunately had to be cut up to be moved. They were housed in the Archaeological Gallery of the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, but are now in the care of Hull Museums. Details concerning the boats can be found on an information board on Ferriby foreshore, on a public footpath that forms part of the Trans Pennine Trail.


Two different replicas have been made of the Ferriby Boats.


In 2002-2003, Edwin Gifford and his team that included Richard Darrah built and sailed a half-size reconstruction of a Ferriby boat in Southampton.[6] They have experimented with using a sail; although there is no evidence of a sail in the originals, they successfully rigged a square sail to Oakleaf. Oakleaf was then acquired by the Ferriby Heritage Trust in 2008, and it is now kept at Ferriby.


In 2012–13, the Morgawr, a full-scale fully functional reconstruction (replica) of the Ferriby 1 boat, was built at the National Maritime Museum Cornwall in Falmouth, as a collaborative effort between the National Maritime Museum and the University of Exeter. Launched on 6 March 2013, Morgawr was an experimental archaeology endeavour to learn about Bronze Age boat building techniques (replica bronze tools of the Age were used) and to test the nautical capabilities of the craft. Morgawr was successfully launched on 15 March 2013 into Falmouth Harbour and on her maiden voyage was paddled by the volunteer builders. She was also crewed by a rowing club team, who tested her manoeuvrability and speed. In 2014, having been in the water for many months, she was lifted out for her condition to be inspected and studied. As of 2016, she is on land, on display next to the Maritime Museum.

See also


  1. ^ Ven der Nort, Robert (2004). "An ancient seascape: the social context of seafaring in the early Bronze Age". World Archaeology. 35 (3): 404–415. doi:10.1080/0043824042000185793.
  2. ^ "Bronze Age boat 'oldest in Europe'". BBC News. Retrieved 18 March 2015.
  3. ^ "Welcome and introduction". Ferriby Heritage Trust Ltd. Retrieved 18 September 2014.
  4. ^ "Bronze Age Boat The world's oldest known seagoing boat". Dover Museum. Retrieved 18 September 2014.
  5. ^ a b "Plaque of memorial". Geograph. Retrieved 11 August 2011.
  6. ^ "The Ferriby Boat". Retrieved 18 September 2014.
  • Wright, Edward (1991). The Ferriby Boats: Seacraft of the Bronze Age. Routledge. ISBN 978-0415025997.
  • Ferriby Heritage Trust. "ferribyboats.co.uk". Information on the Bronze Age boats found at North Ferriby, East Yorkshire, England, UK. Retrieved 2 January 2007.
1946 in archaeology

The year 1946 in archaeology involved some significant events.


Bouldnor is a hamlet near Yarmouth on the west coast of the Isle of Wight in southern England. It is the location of Bouldnor Battery, a gun battery emplacement.

Bouldnor is located on the A3054 road, and public transport is provided by buses on Southern Vectis route 7.

There is currently some oil exploration being done in Bouldnor.Bouldnor was the site of a brickmaking enterprise.The Current Lord of The manor of Bouldnor is David, Lord Prosser of Bouldnor, holder of the Feudal Title.

A soapbox derby was held in Bouldnor in 2005. It was a big success, so the event was repeated in 2006, though moved to Newport and renamed the Isle of Wight Soapbox Derby Challenge.

Bronze Age

The Bronze Age is a historical period characterized by the use of bronze, and in some areas proto-writing, and other early features of urban civilization. The Bronze Age is the second principal period of the three-age Stone-Bronze-Iron system, as proposed in modern times by Christian Jürgensen Thomsen, for classifying and studying ancient societies.

An ancient civilization is defined to be in the Bronze Age either by producing bronze by smelting its own copper and alloying with tin, arsenic, or other metals, or by trading for bronze from production areas elsewhere. Bronze itself is harder and more durable than other metals available at the time, allowing Bronze Age civilizations to gain a technological advantage.

Copper-tin ores are rare, as reflected in the fact that there were no tin bronzes in Western Asia before trading in bronze began in the third millennium BC. Worldwide, the Bronze Age generally followed the Neolithic period, with the Chalcolithic serving as a transition. Although the Iron Age generally followed the Bronze Age, in some areas (such as Sub-Saharan Africa), the Iron Age began as early as 2500 BC.Bronze Age cultures differed in their development of the first writing. According to archaeological evidence, cultures in Mesopotamia (cuneiform script) and Egypt (hieroglyphs) developed the earliest viable writing systems.

Bronze Age Britain

Bronze Age Britain is an era of British history that spanned from c. 2500 until c. 800 BC. Lasting for approximately 1,700 years, it was preceded by the era of Neolithic Britain and was in turn followed by the period of Iron Age Britain. Being categorised as the Bronze Age, it was marked by the use of copper and then bronze by the prehistoric Britons, who used such metals to fashion tools. Great Britain in the Bronze Age also saw the widespread adoption of agriculture.

During the British Bronze Age, large megalithic monuments similar to those from the Late Neolithic continued to be constructed or modified, including such sites as Avebury, Stonehenge, Silbury Hill and Must Farm. This has been described as a time "when elaborate ceremonial practices emerged among some communities of subsistence agriculturalists of western Europe".

Claud William Wright

Claud William Wright CB (9 January 1917, Ellenborough, Yorkshire, England – 15 February 2010, Burford, Oxfordshire, England), aka Willy Wright, was a senior British civil servant who was also an expert in the disciplines of geology, palaeontology, and archaeology.

Diamond Jubilee State Coach

The Diamond Jubilee State Coach (initially known as the State Coach Britannia) is an enclosed, six-horse-drawn carriage that was made to commemorate Queen Elizabeth II's 80th birthday, but completion was delayed for nearly eight years. Eventually, it became a commemoration for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

The coach was used for the first time at the State Opening of Parliament on 4 June 2014. It has been in regular service since, often used for state visits, and is housed in the Royal Mews along with the other state coaches.

Dover Bronze Age Boat

Dover Bronze Age boat is one of fewer than 20 Bronze Age boats so far found in Britain. It dates to 1575–1520 BC, which may make it the oldest substantially intact boat in the world (older boat finds are small fragments, some less than a metre square) – though much older ships exist, such as the Khufu ship from 2500 BC. The boat was made using oak planks sewn together with yew lashings. This technique has a long tradition of use in British prehistory; the oldest known examples are narrower types from Ferriby in east Yorkshire. A 9.5m long section of the boat is on display at Dover Museum, in the south-east corner of the United Kingdom.

English Channel

The English Channel (French: la Manche, "The Sleeve"; German: Ärmelkanal, "Sleeve Channel"; Breton: Mor Breizh, "Sea of Brittany"; Welsh: Môr Udd; Cornish: Mor Bretannek, "British Sea"; Dutch: Het Kanaal, "The Channel"), also called simply the Channel, is the body of water that separates Southern England from northern France and links the southern part of the North Sea to the Atlantic Ocean. It is the busiest shipping area in the world.It is about 560 km (350 mi) long and varies in width from 240 km (150 mi) at its widest to 33.3 km (20.7 mi) in the Strait of Dover. It is the smallest of the shallow seas around the continental shelf of Europe, covering an area of some 75,000 km2 (29,000 sq mi).

Hanson Log Boat

The Hanson Log Boat was a bronze age boat found in a gravel pit in Shardlow in Derbyshire. This log boat is now in Derby Museum and Art Gallery.

History of the East Riding of Yorkshire

The East Riding of Yorkshire is a local government district with unitary authority status, and is a ceremonial county of England. It is named after the historic East Riding of Yorkshire which was one of three ridings alongside the North Riding and West Riding, which were constituent parts a Yorkshire ceremonial and administrative county until 1974. From 1974 to 1996 the area of the modern East Riding of Yorkshire constituted the northern part of Humberside.

Hull and East Riding Museum

The Hull and East Riding Museum is located in the Museums Quarter of the Old Town in Kingston upon Hull, England. It dates back to 1925 as the Museum of Commerce and Industry in a former Customs House but acquired its present name in 1989 with a major refurbishment and new entrance, with the transport section moving to a separate museum. It displays items from prehistoric to medieval in the area, many of them in life-size tableaux or reconstructions of rooms and buildings.

Isle of Wight

The Isle of Wight (; also referred to informally as The Island or abbreviated to IoW) is a county and the largest and second-most populous island in England. It is in the English Channel, between 2 and 5 miles off the coast of Hampshire, separated by the Solent. The island has resorts that have been holiday destinations since Victorian times, and is known for its mild climate, coastal scenery, and verdant landscape of fields, downland and chines. The island is designated a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.

The island has been home to the poets Swinburne and Tennyson and to Queen Victoria, who built her much-loved summer residence and final home Osborne House at East Cowes. It has a maritime and industrial tradition including boat-building, sail-making, the manufacture of flying boats, the hovercraft, and Britain's space rockets. The island hosts annual music festivals including the Isle of Wight Festival, which in 1970 was the largest rock music event ever held. It has well-conserved wildlife and some of the richest cliffs and quarries for dinosaur fossils in Europe.

The isle was owned by a Norman family until 1293 and was earlier a kingdom in its own right. In common with the Crown dependencies, the British Crown was then represented on the island by the Governor of the Isle of Wight until 1995. The island has played an important part in the defence of the ports of Southampton and Portsmouth, and been near the front-line of conflicts through the ages, including the Spanish Armada and the Battle of Britain. Rural for most of its history, its Victorian fashionability and the growing affordability of holidays led to significant urban development during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Historically part of Hampshire, the island became a separate administrative county in 1890. It continued to share the Lord Lieutenant of Hampshire until 1974, when it was made its own ceremonial county. Apart from a shared police force, there is now no administrative link with Hampshire, although a combined local authority with Portsmouth and Southampton was considered, this is now unlikely to proceed.The quickest public transport link to the mainland is the hovercraft from Ryde to Southsea; three vehicle ferry and two catamaran services cross the Solent to Southampton, Lymington and Portsmouth.

Morgawr (folklore)

In Cornish folklore, the Morgawr (meaning sea giant in Cornish) is a sea serpent that purportedly inhabits the sea near Falmouth Bay, Cornwall, England.

North Ferriby

North Ferriby, commonly referred to as Ferriby, is a village and civil parish in the Haltemprice area of the East Riding of Yorkshire, England.

Northern England

Northern England, also known as the North of England or simply the North, is the northern part of England, considered as a single cultural area. It extends from the Scottish border in the north to near the River Trent in the south, although precise definitions of its southern extent vary. Northern England approximately comprises three statistical regions: the North East, North West and Yorkshire and the Humber. These have a combined population of around 14.9 million as of the 2011 Census and an area of 37,331 km2 (14,414 sq mi). Northern England contains much of England's national parkland but also has large areas of urbanisation, including the conurbations of Greater Manchester, Merseyside, Teesside, Tyneside, Wearside, and South and West Yorkshire.

The region has been controlled by many groups, from the Brigantes, the largest Brythonic kingdom of Great Britain, to the Romans, to Anglo-Saxons and Danes. After the Norman conquest in 1066, the Harrying of the North brought destruction. The area experienced Anglo-Scottish border fighting until the unification of Britain under the Stuarts, with some parts changing hands between England and Scotland many times. Many of the innovations of the Industrial Revolution began in Northern England, and its cities were the crucibles of many of the political changes that accompanied this social upheaval, from trade unionism to Manchester Capitalism. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the economy of the North was dominated by heavy industry such as weaving, shipbuilding, steelmaking and mining. The deindustrialisation that followed in the second half of the 20th century hit Northern England hard, and many towns remain deprived compared with those in Southern England.

Urban renewal projects and the transition to a service economy have resulted in strong economic growth in some parts of Northern England, but a definite North–South divide remains both in the economy and the culture of England. Centuries of migration, invasion and labour have shaped Northern culture, and the region retains distinctive dialects, music and cuisine.

River Ancholme

The River Ancholme is a river in Lincolnshire, England, and a tributary of the Humber.

It rises at Ancholme Head, a spring just north of the village of Ingham (SK 96675 85014) and immediately west of the Roman Road, Ermine Street. It flows east and then north to Bishopbridge (west of Market Rasen) (TF 03163 91070), where it is joined by the Rase. North of Bishopbridge it flows through the market town of Brigg before draining into the Humber at South Ferriby. It drains a significant part of northern Lincolnshire between the Trent and the North Sea.

The river has been used by humans since at least 800 BC, confirmed by the excavation of a planked boat at Brigg, and patents covering improvements to the river are known from 1287 onwards. Major change occurred in 1635, when a new straight channel was constructed from Bishopbridge to Ferriby. The new channel carries most of the water and is known as the New River Ancholme, whereas the Old River Ancholme maintains its natural course, meandering from side to side. The old course is mostly reduced to a drain, except around the town of Brigg where the two rivers create an island in the centre of Brigg known as 'Island Carr'. Further improvements were started by John Rennie (the Elder) in the early 1800s and completed by his son in the 1820s, with the reconstruction of Ferriby Sluice taking place around 1841.

From that time onwards the river was reasonably profitable, and although receipts were reduced when railways arrived in the area, trade picked up in the 1890s, and was boosted by cargoes of sugar beet in the 1930s. All commercial carrying had ceased above Brigg by the 1970s, and stopped altogether in the 1980s. The upper section was almost derelict by then, but was restored and dredged in 2004. The river is an important drainage channel for north Lincolnshire, but is also used for leisure, with boating, rowing, canoeing and fishing taking place. Responsibility for the river changed six times between 1930 and 1996, but it is now managed by the Environment Agency.

The Ancholme Internal Drainage Board maintains twelve pumping stations on the banks of the river, which pump water from the surrounding low-lying land to prevent flooding. The river also supplies large volumes of water to the Scunthorpe Steelworks, and to Anglian Water, who use it to provide a public water supply to the South Humber bank industrial area. In order to maintain this volume of abstraction during the summer months, and other dry periods, water is transferred from Barlings Eau, near the River Witham, by the Trent Witham Ancholme transfer scheme, commissioned in 1974.

Few of the bridges which cross the river form part of a public road, and so they have not been replaced to cope with increased traffic. A number of them are listed structures, while Ferriby Lock is a scheduled ancient monument. The river is also home to two historic boats owned by the Humber Keel & Sloop Preservation Society.

Sewn boat

A sewn boat is a type of wooden boat which is clinker built and planks sewn, stitched, tied, or bound together with tendons or flexible wood, such as roots and willow branches. Sewn boat construction techniques were used in many parts of the world prior to the development of metal fasteners, and continued to be used long after that time for small boats to reduce construction costs where metal fasteners were too expensive.


Vannes (French pronunciation: ​[van]; Breton: Gwened) is a commune in the Morbihan department in Brittany in north-western France. It was founded over 2,000 years ago.


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