Meols Boat project – update

Prof Steve Harding (University of Nottingham) and Chas Jones (Fulford Battlefield Society) – Chief Scientist and Chief Archaeologist respectively of the Meols Boat project – and both members of Wirral Archaeology CIC, gave a talk to members of the Wallasey Photographic Society, on 23rd January. Members of the Society had extensively photographed the week of core sampling of the area underneath the patio/car park area of the Railway inn in Meols, where the remains of the ancient clinker (overlapping planks) built vessel lie.

The boat was originally discovered in 1938 by workmen during the construction of a new pub building replacing the old 19th century pub. One of the workmen – John McRae – had made detailed notes about the find and with his son – also John McRae produced a sketch and report which has formed the basis of the current investigation. John McRae Snr died some years ago and very sadly John McRae passed away very recently. Without their foresight all knowledge of this great treasure would have been lost, and Steve took the opportunity to give a full tribute to John and his father, saying that Wirral had every reason to be proud and grateful for what they had done. 

Because of the delicate state of the wood after the discovery that a large concrete slab had been placed over the find – the samples had to be carefully and forensically cleaned over a long period time to make them available for scientific analysis to establish the date and nature of the vessel which is now underway.