Hunting the lost Beagle
By Jeremy Grange
A muddy river bank in the flat, watery landscape of southern Essex may seem an unlikely place to find one of the most important ships in scientific history.
But a combination of painstaking detective work and archaeology have convinced maritime historian Dr Robert Prescott that the banks of the River Roach near the village of Paglesham are the last resting place of HMS Beagle.
The historic ship will be forever associated with Charles Darwin who served as its naturalist on her second great voyage between 1831 and 1836.
This journey sowed in Darwin's mind the seed of the ideas that would eventually become his theory of natural selection and revolutionise the way we look at the world and ourselves.