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Monument details

HER Number:TR 34 SW 88
Type of record:Findspot
Name:Bronzes from Langdon Bay - possible prehistoric shipwreck site

Summary

Bronzes from Langdon Bay - possible prehistoric shipwreck site


Grid Reference:TR 34 42
Map Sheet:TR34SW
Parish:ST MARGARET’S AT CLIFFE, DOVER, KENT

Monument Types

  • Hoard (Unknown date)

Associated Finds

  • AXEHEAD (Middle Bronze Age - 1600 BC to 1001 BC)
  • AXEHEAD (Middle Bronze Age - 1600 BC to 1001 BC)
  • AXEHEAD (Middle Bronze Age - 1600 BC to 1001 BC)
  • DAGGER (Middle Bronze Age - 1600 BC to 1001 BC)
  • SPEARHEAD (Middle Bronze Age - 1600 BC to 1001 BC)

Full description

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Middle Bronze Age finds from Langdon Bay, near Dover. On the 14th August 1974 Mr S Stevens and Mr M Hadlow of the Dover Sub-Aqua Club began diving on the eastern side of Langdon Bay east of Dover where they had frequently dived over several years. On this occasion they came across a total of 86 objects of Bronze Age date. The finds mostly came from a narrow gulley in the chalk about 79 ft long, 2 to 10 ft wide and 1 ft deep. The site was marked by a buoy and was plotted on a chart. A further eight objects were recovered in July 1975. The group is middle Bronze Age in date c.1200-1000 BC. The finds include flat winged axes (nos 1-3), spatulate axes (nos 4-7), daggers (nos 8-10), palstaves (nos 11-17) and spearheads (nos 18-19) (see illustration card no 1). The large group (25) of unusual winged axes is particularly interesting as they are very rare. The origins of these axes may be central Europe. The 24 palstave probably have a continental origin and some have similarities to the 'Breton' palstave of the 12th century BC. The site, which is located 500 yards from the present white cliffs suggests a wreck possibly belonging to a trader or bronze-smith who was bringing a cargo across the channel in a small craft to a location in Dover harbour. The remains of any vessel has long since disappeared. The hoard is the property of Dover Harbour Board. (1) Systematic investigation of the area began after further finds were made in 1977 and 1978. In the 1979 a season or work was undertaken bythe Dover Sub-Aqua Club. The site was gridded into 2 metre wide corridors, within which an intensive visual search was made for all surface bronze; in addition one trench 15m long was excavated in one of these corridors. The bronzes lie at a depth of 7.13m on a chalk sea bed where visibility is 2m or less. Most of the finds discovered lie within a radius of 50m. A total of 189 objects have now been recovered (see illustration card no 2) and they are of French provenance. Because many of the items were cut it is suggested that this is a cargo of scrap, the items being carried for their metal value rather than for use. (2). General listing. (3) Additional bibliography - not consulted. (4)

Additional information (5)


Simon Stevens and Brian Philp, 1976, Kent Archaeological Review: Major Discovery of Bronze Age Implements at Dover (Article in serial). SKE31854.


<2> OS Card / NAR index entry, Antiquity 54 100-109 (K Muckelroy) (Unpublished document). SKE6461.


<3> OS Card / NAR index entry, Historic Wrecks Dept Trade Marine Division, 1979 Annex A,D,E. (Unpublished document). SKE6461.


<4> OS Card / NAR index entry, Welsh Antiquity 1976 97 (C Burgess) (Unpublished document). SKE6461.


<5> Cluttons, 2002, Desk-Based Assessment of Dover Eastern Docks Supply Main (Unpublished document). SKE8212.

Sources and further reading

Cross-ref. Source description
---Article in serial: Simon Stevens and Brian Philp. 1976. Kent Archaeological Review: Major Discovery of Bronze Age Implements at Dover. Vol. 43. pp. 63-73.
<2>Unpublished document: OS Card / NAR index entry. Antiquity 54 100-109 (K Muckelroy).
<3>Unpublished document: OS Card / NAR index entry. Historic Wrecks Dept Trade Marine Division, 1979 Annex A,D,E..
<4>Unpublished document: OS Card / NAR index entry. Welsh Antiquity 1976 97 (C Burgess).
<5>Unpublished document: Cluttons. 2002. Desk-Based Assessment of Dover Eastern Docks Supply Main.

Related records

TR 34 SW 594Part of: Langdon Bay Wreck (Maritime)
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