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Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Welsh Coal and Slate Wrecks - Exciting Research Project

On Saturday 19th February the Royal Commission, along with the Nautical Archaeology Society, co-hosted a training day providing an introduction to historical research. The event was held at the National Library of Wales with Royal Commission staff leading the day.

Cadw has recently started a strategic research project into coal and slate wrecks around the coast of Wales and is inviting sports divers to become actively involved in survey and research work. The purpose of the training day was to introduce participants to the extensive documentary archive around Wales and to invite divers to adopt one of the coal and slate wrecks located around the Welsh coast.

The training day provided an introduction to the coal and slate industry, with a talk given by Royal Commission Researcher, Daryl Leeworthy.
Nautical Archaeology Society co-ordinator, Ian Cundy, gave a talk about his own extensive research on the ‘Diamond’ wreck site on Sarn Badrig’s causeway. This research has confirmed that the wreck is almost certainly not the Diamond, as it is too big and of insufficient age.

Royal Commission Maritime officer, Deanna Groom, introduced participants to a variety of documentary sources containing details of ship wrecks. They were then given the opportunity to put this knowledge to practical use in the National Library’s reading rooms.
Members of the Nautical Archaeology Society studying historic Admiralty charts for evidence of ship wrecks.
Royal Commission Maritime Officer, Deanna Groom and Nautical Archaeology Society member search for ship wreck information amongst historic estate papers.
In preparing for the training day Royal Commission staff came across a ship wreck inventory dating from 1583, amongst papers from the Penrice and Margam estate. The inventory is written in secretary script, and Royal commission Reading Room staff member, Anna Skarzynska, an expert in transcribing historical script, was able to translate it. She identified that the vessel had six cannon on board as well as personal items, including flasks, salvers and a ladle!

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