The boat

Part of a boat dating again to the Middle Bronze Age, (c1,500BC) was found at Meadow Lake. The part found was a curved piece of wood called a cleat, which was used to help fasten crossbeams to the hull of the boat.
This is one of the oldest pieces of a sea-going boat ever found in Britain. We know that these sorts of boats were used to sail across the sea, along coasts and into estuaries.
The boat would have been similar to others found in the Bronze Age, such as the Dover boat, which were about 16m long, with a flat bottom like a raft and with the ends and sides curving up like a large canoe. They were made of huge oak planks sewn together with twisted yew branches. There was room for up to 18 paddles, with nine timbers or thwarts across the boat which could have been used by paddlers or passengers to sit on.
It is probable that at Testwood, boats sailed up the river to the bridges and no further as their way was blocked. Their goods might then have been transferred to smaller log boats which carried on upstream.