17th century shipwreck discovered
- On 15/12/2016
- In Parks & Protected Sites
By Emily Beament - Mirror
A 17th-century shipwreck has been rediscovered by divers in a Cornish bay where TV series Poldark filmed a dramatic wreck scene.
The protected wreck site of the Schiedam was first spotted in 1971 but has been buried under the shifting sands of shallow waters off Gunwalloe Church Cove on Cornwall's south coast, where it stranded during a gale in 1684.
But divers have found the wreck again after a storm, providing a rare opportunity to monitor the historic site, viewing and recording cannons, musket barrels and an iron hand-grenade which were part of the vessel's cargo.
The Schiedam was originally a cargo vessel in the Dutch East India company fleet, but was captured by Barbary pirates off the Spanish coast and its crew enslaved.
It was soon captured again by a Royal Navy ship and taken to Cadiz where the cargo was sold.
The vessel served in the English Fleet and sank while carrying a company of army miners and horses, stores, machinery and captured guns back from Tangier.
The wreck is close to the shore in around three or four metres of water at low tide, but as a protected wreck site it can only be visited with a licence issued by Historic England. It lies in the spot where a major shipwreck scene was filmed in 2014 for the BBC's Poldark.
Archaeologist and novelist David Gibbins, one of the two divers to find the site again, said they had searched the cove many times for the Schiedam but failed to find it until a breakthrough after a storm.