True identity of ship hulk rotting in Plymouth discovered

Mallory Haas and Peter Holt look at an old photo of John Sims

The true identity of the ship was revealed in a letter in an archive.

A team of marine archaeologists has discovered the true identity of a large wooden ship hull buried in Hooe Lake on the outskirts of Plymouth.

The remains of the ship are buried next to a stone mole on the north side of the lake.

The Hulk is now identified by The Ships Project as the Westcountry sailor John Sims.

Until it was last discovered, it was thought to be a Dutch barge called Two Brothers.

The Ships Project is a voluntary non-profit organization that undertakes the study and study of historic maritime sites and events, both on land and underwater.

Hooe Lake is known as the “ship graveyard” because of the 36 ship hulls known to be buried here.

The Ships Project said Hooe Lake was thought to be a place where boats had been abandoned for centuries.

The lake is shallow and tidal, so boats can be abandoned when the tide is high, but still accessible when the tide is low.

The team discovered a letter between local historians John Cotton and Martin Langley while reviewing John Cotton’s archive while writing the archaeological research.

The letter, preserved in John Cotton’s maritime archives, identified this ship as the sailor John Sims.

Mallory Haas, a marine archaeologist and director of the project, said there wasn’t a lot of information about the hulk at first.

Malory Haas

Marine archaeologist Mallory Haas said the area was a place where ships had been abandoned since Roman times.

However, when an archaeological survey of the boat was conducted, the team discovered that it was built not like a barge but more like a Westcountry ship or gulet.

“Now we have all this amazing history and a picture of what it looked like when it was on the water, so it all comes together and we make a book about it and now we have a really interesting name.” debris,” said Mrs. Haas.

“As far as we can tell, this has been a place where ships have been abandoned since Roman times, so there’s a lot of mud around.

“But there are probably older boats and shipwrecks under the mud – we can’t see them.

“While what we see is from the 1890s, 1870s, 1920s and even 1960s, it’s important to understand what this place is.

“But collectively, it tells a story of Plymouth and its maritime heritage.”

Peter Holt, director of the Ships Project, said that according to historical records, John Sims sailed until 1935 when it was converted into a timber lighter for use in the Oreston timber yard at the end of Lake Hooe.

He said records show that the ship was built at Falmouth in 1873 by HS Trethowan for the Sims family and was registered at Plymouth at 98 tons.

In 1893 the ship was sold to Thomas Stevens of Bursledon near Southampton, then sold to Richard Foster of Gloucester in 1900 and re-registered in that port.

In March 1917, Albert Westcott bought the ship, transported it to Plymouth and appointed Bill Stiles as the ship’s captain.

Peter Holt

Peter Holt said the schooner would make transatlantic cruises in time before being converted to a timber lighter at Plymouth.

The registry was closed on board when it was converted into a timber lighter at Plymouth in 1935.

At one point later, the schooner was abandoned on the east side of the stone pier at Lake Hooe, where it was staying.

Mr Holt said: “Plymouth has the most amazing maritime history dating back to after 12,000 BC and every time we look at something we find something new.

“The ships at Hooe Lake tell us a lot about trade and what happened at Plymouth in the 1800s, but they also provide examples of ship types that no longer exist.

“Some of the things we found in the lake, some of the ones we identified, are the last surviving examples of this particular species, and by investigating them, we can learn how they were built by archaeological excavation.”

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