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Seeing the remains of the ‘Amsterdam’ ship of 1749

2019 April 26

Wreck of the Amsterdam boat of 1749

The wreck site of the ‘Amsterdam’ ship of 1749 lies outside Hastings near Bulverhythe on the walking route to Bexhill.

Nearby are elements of a prehistoric forest of 2000 BC and outcrops of cretaceous rocks of 135 million years old.

Normally it is difficult to see any of this even from the path adjacent to the beach because of the high water. But low spring tides have revealed these perspectives alongside contributions from volunteers at the Hastings Shipwreck museum.

Due to entering the English Channel under a severe gale the ‘Amsterdam’ ship struck the seabed so hard that her rudder was torn off. The wreck together with goods were buried within the sand.When some workers digged into the wreck in the late 1960s they found bronze cannons, clay pipes, personal possessions etc. As a result -unsurprisingly- archaeologists were horrified at the damage and sought its protection as an historic site.

You can walk over the Bridge Way from the Bexhill Road (that goes from Hastings to Bexhill) and view the area but will be unlikely to few the wrecked ship or the wooden fossils nearby unless there is a low tide. Though living in Hastings now for a few years I’ve only just managed to see it properly for the first time. I would recommend a visit.

(No stories of the existence of cats…)

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