Volunteers hunt bank of Thames for clues of lost Victorian warships

28th July 2009, 13:41
The remains of some of the great warships of the British Empire are being rescued from the Thames by a team of volunteers.

The group today started the project to preserve a crucial part of the capital's maritime history. They began work at low tide by retrieving broken timbers next to the Thames Barrier in Charlton - the site of a shipyard that was abandoned nearly a century ago.

Archaeologists at University College London trained the volunteers to help identify the remains of the 19th century battleships.

The remains of the ships are thought to include the 131-gun Duke of Wellington, which at 73 metres and 5,892 tonnes was the largest and most powerful ship in the world when she was launched in 1852, the same week the Iron Duke died.


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