Early Ships and Boats

855 HMS Ramillies

Early Ships and Boats is a strategic desk-based assessment commissioned by English Heritage (now Historic England) and funded through the National Heritage Protection Commissions Programme (NHPCP).

The project contributes to the overall national programme of planned designation being carried out by English Heritage through the National Heritage Protection Plan (NHPP).
At present, very few boats and ships are offered statutory protection in England in comparison to the large numbers of known and dated wrecks and even greater numbers of recorded losses of boats and ships in English waters. One way of expanding this designation base is to take a thematic approach. The theme of early ships and boats, from Prehistory to 1840, was recommended because of the special technological, historical and human interest of these early vessels. The theme incorporated the following periods:

857 Swash Channel © Crown copyright

Early Prehistoric (500,000 – 4000 BC)
Late Prehistoric (4000 – 54 BC)
Roman (54 BC – AD 410)
Post-Roman to Norman Conquest (410 AD – 1066)
Medieval and Early Tudor (1066 – 1540)
Mid to Late Tudor (1540 – 1603)
Stuart (1603 – 1714)
Hanoverian (1714 – 1837)

A selection guide explaining the approach of English heritage to the designation of ships and boats can be downloaded from the English Heritage website.


To see the full report click here