Residents learned about plans to uncover the secrets of two mysterious sea wrecks.

The Maritime Archaeology Trust’s (MAT) Discovery Bus was parked outside Debenhams in Weymouth last weekend to give residents a glimpse of the Chesil Beach Wrecks Project.

There are currently two wreck sites off Chesil Beach, which are thought to date back to the 17th or 18th century.

The aim of the project is, with the help of local divers, to record the sites, and use photogrammetry, to create a digital 3D annotated tour of the sites.

These divers will also gain additional skills and actively protect the wrecks through visiting and monitoring the sites in the longer term.

A spokesman for MAT said: “The Discovery Bus visited Weymouth at the weekend to showcase the work being carried out by the trust and the Nautical Archaeology Society (NAS) on the mysterious Chesil Beach wrecks.

“Meanwhile the dive team were visiting the wreck sites to collect data to bring the wrecks to the surface through virtual dive trails.

“Dozens of people went aboard the bus and learned about the sites, and many of them had no idea of the mysteries on their doorstep.

“Adults and children alike also had a chance to discover, and handle archaeological artefacts, some that are thousands of years old, and the kids enjoyed the fun of trying on the dive kit.

“The visit was very successful and MAT and the NAS are very excited to be able to share this rare site and the forthcoming virtual dive with the general public.”

There are two wrecks sites which are 300m apart and are thought to date from the 17th or 18th century because of the cannons that remain along with iron shot and wooden elements.

One site has the remains of eight cannons and the other site has seven cannons.

The wrecks have been protected by Historic England under the Protection of Wrecks Act 1973, and Historic England are supporting the project.


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