English researchers officially presented to the world the wreck of the battleship HMS Gloucester, which sank in the 17th century off the southeast coast of Great Britain. The wreck was found in 2007, but for 15 years it remained one of the most closely kept secrets in sailing history.
HMS Gloucester was a veteran of many wars with Spain and the Netherlands, but sank in peacetime – the ship ran aground near Great Yarmouth. Some of the passengers survived, including the future King of England, James II Stuart, but Gloucester himself disembarked with hundreds of people. Until the 21st century, the crash site remained a mystery.
It has been resting on the seabed since the seventeenth century
The wreck of the HMS Gloucester was found by a diving team led by Julian and Lincoln Barnwell of Norfolk. It took them four years to find the trail.
– One day I searched in the encyclopedia of sunken ships, looking for the oldest. My attention was drawn to HMS Gloucester, which sank in 1628 – says Lincoln Barnwell. – I got on the phone and called my brother to ask if he was ready for another adventure and search for the wreck.
As it turned out, HMS Gloucester was located 45 kilometers from the southeast coast of Great Britain. Although the discovery was made in 2007, it has only now been revealed – the wreck was located in extraterritorial waters, which required adequate protection of the crash site.
It’s an amazing time capsule.
According to Barnwell, the first dive near the wreck was an unforgettable experience.
– I saw a black shadow on the sea floor indicating that we were dealing with a wreck – recalls the diver. Moments later I was kneeling on the sand and all around me were these mighty, great cannons.
According to researchers, the discovery of HMS Gloucester is one of the most important historical discoveries at sea in recent years.
“The ship sank so fast that almost no one escaped,” Barnwell explains. The rich and the poor, the workers and the nobles are buried here. This is an amazing time capsule.
This discovery is also unique due to the elements contained within the wreck. In addition to cannons from HMS Gloucester, sailing equipment and everyday objects were also recovered, which may give us an insight into the lives of various social groups in the seventeenth century.
Main image source: Reuters
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