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Ynyslas Wrecks - 2012 to present

Ynyslas beach lies on the south side of the River Dovey (Afon Dyfi) opposite the town of Aberdovey (Aberdyfi) in West Wales.  On this beach are 3 intertidal shipwrecks that are thought to be the last remaining examples of the commercial Derwenlas fleet of slate schooners that operated on the River Dovey in the 19th century.  It is also thought that these vessels may have been abandoned in their current locations to act as navigational channel markers.   

Views of the 3-Ynyslas wrecks (August 2012)
Ynyslas Hulk 1 Hulk 2 (August 2012) Hulk 3 (August 2012)
Hulk 1 Hulk 2 Hulk 3

Hulk 1 is visible at low water as soon as you set foot on the beach, and for many years MADU had been visiting this site and carrying out recording exercises.

Ynyslas Hulk 1 (February 2011)
Trilateration Survey (February 2011) Planning Frame Exercise (February 2011)
Trilateration Survey Planning Frame Exercise

Hulk 2 remains little more than a few small timbers that at low water can be seen protruding from the beach, if you know where to look!

Ynyslas Hulk 2 (October 2012)
Ynyslas Hulk 2 Ynyslas Hulk 2
Ynyslas Hulk 2 looking north Ynyslas Hulk 2 looking south

Hulk 3 however is becoming more exposed on every tide as it emerges from the eroding bank that is being scoured by the River Leri as it discharges into the River Dovey.

Ynyslas Hulk 3 (August 2012)
Ynyslas Hulk 3 looking north Ynyslas Hulk 3 looking south
Ynyslas Hulk 3 looking north Ynyslas Hulk 3 looking south

Hulks 2 & 3 only became apparent to MADU during a visit to the area in 2012 when they heard that a report: Garland & Groom 2011, (Remains of the Derwenlas Fleet at Ynyslas) had been produced by the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales (RCAHMW) following survey work carried out in June 2008 & June 2010.

Hulk 2 (as can be seen above) remains little more than a few small timbers protruding from the beach.

Hulk 3 however is now considerable more exposed than is noted in the 2011 report.  It also appears to be fairly rapidly eroding out of the beach as it is being scoured by the River Leri as it discharges into the River Dovey.

MADU made their observations and concerns for the future of Hulk 3 known to Cadw, and in October 2012 a site visit was made together with representatives from Cadw, the RCAHMW and the Countryside Council for Wales (CCW).  It was apparent that not only was the wreck continuing to emerge from the bank of the River Leri, but that the combination of being covered twice a day at high water and being exposed to the elements at low water, was causing the vessel to break up with timbers falling away from the vessels structure and floating away on the tides.

Ynyslas Hulk 3 (October 2012)
Ynyslas Hulk 3 looking north Ynyslas Hulk 3 looking south
Ynyslas Hulk 3 looking north Ynyslas Hulk 3 looking south

Following the site meeting, MADU sumitted to Cadw a report:  

Proposals for the Conservation of the Wooeden Vessel Emerging from the Bank of the Afon Leri at Ynyslas

The report proposed 5-phases of work:

Phase 1 - Emergency Stabilisation
Phase 2 - Interim Monitoring
Phase 3 - Archaeological Investigation
Phase 4 - Conservation
Phase 5 - Display

Cadw subsequently rushed through designation for all three of the Ynyslas wrecks under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act (1979), with the anticipation that funding could then be found to help with the protection of the site.  Unfortunately, to date, no progress has been made towards stabilising Hulk 3 as can be seen from the following pictures.

Ynyslas Hulk 3
Starboard Frames & Outer Planking Collapsed Intermediate Filling Frames
Starboard frames & outer planking
(January 2013)
Collapsed intermediate filling frames
(January 2014)
Emerging Wooden Stave Bucket (Oct 2012) Remains of the wooden bucket (October 2013)

Emerging a wooden stave bucket (October 2012)

Remains of the eroding wooden bucket (October 2013)
View from the air (August 2012) View From Above (January 2014)

View from the air (August 2012)

View from the air (January 2014)

Despite the lack of funding, MADU have continued to monitor and record the deterioration and demise of Hulk 3, and have adopted the site as part of the NAS Adopt-a-Wreck Scheme.

Ynyslas Hulk 3
 Recording by photographing the site from the land   Recording by photographing the site from the land
 Recording by photographing the site from the land  
 Recording by photographing the site from the air   Recording by photographing the site from the air
 Recording by photographing the site from the air  
Surveying and recording the rate of bank erosion   Surveying and recording the rate of bank erosion
Surveying and recording the rate of bank erosion   
Recording timbers that have become disarticulated before they float away on the tide Recording timbers that have become disarticulated before they float away on the tide
Recording disarticulated timbers before they float away on the tide 

In September 2014 and June 2015 MADU carried out a joint recording exercises (on behalf of the NAS) with the Dyfed Archaeological Trust (DAT) see:

Ynyslas Wrecks - 2014

Ynyslas Wrecks - 2015

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