Intertidal Work


In 2015, Wessex Archaeology assessed the condition of a number of hulks, recorded in the hulk inventory published by the Society for Sailing Barge Research in 1996. The hulks were adjacent to the River Swale, in Oare Marshes, Conyer Creek and Milton Creek, near Faversham, Kent.

The work began with a walk-over inspection to confirm the location of each site. Then a visual inspection was undertaken, followed by a closer visual inspection and measurement of a limited number of site features. An RTK GPS survey was undertaken for selected site features. In addition, a complete photographic survey was undertaken for photogrammetry. Photogrammetry is an extremely rapid and cost effective method of survey that produces an excellent 3D visualisation tool, and very accurate survey data that can be used to assess changes in the condition of the site over time.

Case Study - Kestrel

Kestrel was registered as a 36 ton (110 gross ton) wooden spritsail sailing barge, built in Halstow by Ambrose Letley in 1896. It was owned by Eastwoods, a brick making firm operating in the 19th and 20th centuries, situated in Conyer Creek, off the Swale near Faversham, Kent. Kestrel had a 36,000−40,000 brick capacity, but in 1948, it became a mud lighter, and then was abandoned as a hulk in 1953 following a disastrous flood.
The hulk was surveyed on the east bank of Conyer Creek in the intertidal zone. It measures approximately
26.4 m in length from stem to sternpost, with a maximum beam of 4.8 m. Considerable wreck material is exposed, including frames, cant frames, and several strakes of outer carvel planking. The Kestrel is an example of an important regional vessel type of the 19th and early 20th centuries, popularly known as the Thames Sailing Barge.