Historic Kent landmarks sites at risk of being lost forever

There are many fascinating sights in Kent which are steeped in history.

From the historic castles to the national parks, the heritage sites draw in thousands of visitors every year.

But there are many which are relatively unknown to the people of Kent.

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Lying on the sea bed just off the coast of Deal are three former warships: all three were left on Goodwin Sands and never were seen again.

There is also a vessel which blew up on departure from Chatham and several artefacts have since been identified.

But it’s not just what lies beneath the sea which is under risk, as mansion gardens spanning over the border of Kent and East Sussex have been declared as having a medium vulnerability.

Here are five heritage sites in Kent which are under risk according to English Heritage.

Restoration, Goodwin Sands

Campaigners say Goodwin Sands, which is home to shipwrecks and war graves, should be protected
Goodwin Sands, where the boats were left

The wreck of a wooden warship is said to lie just off Goodwin Sands in Deal.

The ship, named Restoration, was a third rate 70-gun warship built in 1678 as part of Samuel Pepys’ reform of the English navy.

During the ‘Great Storm’ of 1703, Restoration was said to have foundered on Goodwin Sands, but now exposed timbers are weakened due to a biological attack.

It is said that the wreckage may be subject to detachment and dispersal by tide and wave surge during winter storms.

Northumberland, Goodwin Sands

Goodwin Sands is off the coast of Deal

Just like Restoration, there is another third rate 70-gun warship lying off the Kent coast.

Northumberland was the first third rate ship to be built under contract after it was realised the naval dockyards could not keep up with the demand.

The warship is also said to have foundered on Goodwin Sands during the ‘Great Storm’ of 1703.

It also has exposed timbers which have been weakened by a biological attack and may be subject to detachment and dispersal by tide and wave surge during winter storms.

Rooswijk, Goodwin Sands

Rooswijk was a ship built in Amsterdam in 1737 but was left stranded on Goodwin Sands in 1739 while en route from Texel to the East Indies.

As with other ships left at Goodwin Sands, Rooswijk’s archaeological material is at risk due to mobile sediments causing periodic exposure.

In 2017 and 2018 a large scale excavation was undertaken in a joint project between Historic England and Dutch Cultural Heritage Agency as well as other stakeholders.

The London, Chatham

The London was a ship built in Chatham in 1654 during the Interregnum.

It’s known to have been involved in the First Dutch War and then later formed part of an English Squadron sent to the Netherlands to collect Charles II.

The ship blew up on departure from Chatham in 1665 and a series of artefacts have since been identified on the river bed and recovered.

An excavation project has been carried out between Historic England, Cotswold Archaeology, Southend Museums Service and the licensed dive team.

Bayham Abbey

The ruins at Bayham Old Abbey

The mansion gardens are partly located in both Kent and East Sussex.

There are terraces and informal pleasure grounds set within a Humphry Repton Red Book park focused on the abbey ruins, now managed by English Heritage.

In the 1970s the estate was divided and there has been further fragmentation of the site since.

The landscape fabric integrity supporting the composition of the parkland has been impacted by mixed arable conversion.

Recommendation of a joint parkland plan process was made in 2020.

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Article Source: Kent Live