Coal & Slate Wreck Project

In 2009 Wessex Archaeology published the results of two archaeological desk-dased assessments that had been compiled at the request of Cadw.  The reports were titled:

The Maritime Archaeology of the Welsh Slate Trade (Ref: 53111.02s-4)

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In 2010 Cadw deceided to use these reports as the basis for further research, and MADU were commissioned by the Nautical Archaeology Society on behalf of Cadw to identify shipwreck sites around the Welsh coast that would lend themselves to becoming the basis of a maritime archaeological research project.  An additional requirement was that the vessels selected were to have been carrying Welsh coal or slate when they were lost.

In total 15 coal and 8 slate wreck sites were identified, 10 in North Wales and 13 in South Wales, and at the end of 2010 a report was prepared with the title:

Welsh Coal and Slate Wrecks: Proposals for Running a Maritime Archaeological Research Project for Recreational Divers and Professional Archaeologists

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In 2011 Cadw deceided to take the 2010 proposals forward, and MADU were again commissioned by the Nautical Archaeology Society on behalf of Cadw to suggest how a Coal & Slate Wreck Project on some of the wreck sites identified in 2010 could be progressed.

The recommendation put forward was to trial run projects with a couple of dive clubs to see if they could be engaged and encouraged to take on one of the sites as part of a club project.  At the end of 2011 a report was prepared with the title:

Welsh Coal and Slate Wrecks: Taking Forward the Proposals for Running a Maritime Archaeological Research Project for Recreational Divers and Professional Archaeologists

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In 2012 Cadw took on board the 2011 recommendations, and MADU were tasked with identifying a dive club in North Wales and another in South Wales who might be interested in taking on a coal or slate wreck close to their base, and then dive the site and report on their findings. 

Discussions with two clubs took place regarding a slate wreck off of Porth Dinllaen on the Lleyn Peninsula and another slate wreck off of Martin's Haven in Pembrokeshire.  During the season some diving took place on the North Wales site, and at the end of 2012 a report on the first seasons trials was prepared with the title:

Welsh Coal and Slate Wreck Project: The Trial Running of Maritime Archaeological Projects on Slate Wrecks in Wales by Engaging Indeividual Dive Clubs and Recreational Divers

Porth Dinllaen, North Wales Martins Haven, South Wales

Porth Dinllaen, North Wales

Martin's Haven, South Wales

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In 2013 Cadw requested that the Coal & Slate Wreck Project Trials be continued for a second season, and MADU continued with the exercise of attempting to encourage and support the two dive clubs in continuing with the trials.

Evening talks on the project were provided to both dive clubs and the South Wales club took up the offer to have a NAS Introduction Course run for their members.  At the end of the second season of trials a report was prepared with the title:

Welsh Coal and Slate Wreck Project: Year Two of the Trial Running of Maritime Archaeological Projects on Slate Wrecks in Wales by Engaging Indeividual Dive Clubs and Recreational Divers

Members of the Ammanford BSAC carrying out a 2D surveying exercise during a NAS course Members of the Ammanford BSAC carrying out a planning frame exercise during a NAS course

Members of the Ammanford BSAC carrying out a 2D surveying & planning fame exercises during a NAS Introduction to Foreshore & Underwater Archaeology course

Members of the Ammanford BSAC drawing up their survey results during a NAS course Members of the Ammanford BSAC drawing up their survey results during a NAS course

Members of the Ammanford BSAC drawing up their survey results during a NAS course