WA Coastal and Marine

Archaeological Services in support of the Protection of Wrecks Act 1973


From 2003 tp 2013, Wessex Archaeology Coastal & Marine fulfilled a contract to provide archaeological services to the heritage agencies in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland in support of the Protection of Wrecks Act 1973. The Protection of Wrecks Act 1973 enables the Government to designate wrecks that are of historic, archaeological or artistic importance. Only people who have a licence are authorised to dive and carry out work on such wrecks. Designations and licences are administered by English Heritage (now Historic England), Cadw, Historic Scotland (now Historic Environment Scotland) and the Environment and Heritage Service (Northern Ireland). Wessex Archaeology supported the heritage agencies by carrying out a range of investigations on wrecks that were already designated, or which were being considered for designation. The investigations included diving, desk-based research, and reviewing geophysical data. Wessex Archaeology Coastal & Marine also spoke with past and present licence-holders, to help get the most from their own investigations. Details of Wessex Archaeology Coastal & Marine work in support of the Protection of Wrecks Act 1973 can be found at http://www.wessexarch.co.uk/cm/themes/shipwrecks/.