The boat beneath the car park

In 1938 workmen who were building the Railway Inn at Meols found what they described as “a Viking boat” in one of their excavations. They were told to ignore it and get on with the work of building the pub. No other investigations were carried out. A year later World War II started so there were other more urgent priorities to deal with.

Over 8o years have passed since the workmen’s discovery, and the mystery remains. Luckily one of the workmen who found the object in 1938 wrote a brief note and diagram of what was found. We now have that information. Wirral Archaeology were approached by local residents and Professor Stephen Harding who is an author of a number of books on Wirral’s Viking heritage. Together we formed a partnership group to organise an investigation.

We obtained the consent of Greene King who own the pub. Then a survey using Ground Penetrating Radar was carried out. This showed that there is an object of some kind buried at the front of the pub. Detailed discussions designed an archaeological and scientific excavation to identify and date the object. There is no intention to remove it.

Things were just beginning to progress well in preparing an application for lottery funding when the Covid pandemic closed the application process. When this restarts we will have to begin  the preparations for a funding bid again. All our cost estimates, etc are out of date.

You can download the full paper on this item here