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Historic England Research Records

Poole Harbour Iron Age Log Boat

Hob Uid: 457515
Location :
Dorset
Purbeck
Studland
Grid Ref : SZ0330087800
Summary : A log boat was dredged from Poole Harbour, east of Brownsea Island in 1964. Two large fragments of the boat were discovered, and it was reconstructed to provide a vessel of just over 10 metres in length and 1.52 metres in width. The wood has been radiocarbon dated to circa 300 cal BC, giving it a firm Iron Age date. It is believed that the boat is associated with two nearby Iron Age jetties, nationally significant and thought to relate to cross-continental trading which took place on Green Island in Poole Harbour.The boat was submerged in a tank for approximately 30 years after its discovery. When Poole Museum was moved to a new site a programme of conservation was entered into regarding the boat. British Sugar Company provided a sucrose solution, something which had proved effective in the past at stabilising oak samples. The conservation programme is now successfully completed and the logboat is on permanent display in Poole Museum.
More information : SZ 033878. A Mid-Iron Age monoxylous log boat was dredged from Poole Harbour, just east of Brownsea Island, in 1964. Two large fragments making up a large proportion of the original boat were discovered; the full length of the now preserved and reconstructed boat being 10.01m overall and 1.52m maximum width. Radiocarbon dating gave a result of 2245 +/-50 BP (Q-821), which calibrates to the 4th or 3rd century BC. Now on display in Old Town House, Poole. (1-4)

The boat was kept immersed in a tank for approximately thirty years while a replica was shown in the museum. When a new museum was built for Poole attentions turned to creating a long-term solution so that the boat could be displayed. Sponsors were gathered to provide the tank and a chemical to minimise the risk from microorganisms and the British Sugar Company provided a sucrose solution. It had previously been suggested that sucrose afforded an excellent preservation solution for oak samples. (5)

The conservation programme is now successfully completed and the logboat is on permanent display in Poole Museum. Details of the Poole Harbour Heritage Harbour Project can also be found on their website. (6-7)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Proceedings of the Dorset Natural History and Antiquarian Field Club
Source details :
Page(s) : 131-134
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Plates :
Vol(s) : 86
Source Number : 2
Source : Logboats of England and Wales, with comparative material from European and other countries
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Page(s) : 254-257
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Plates :
Vol(s) : 51(i-ii)
Source Number : 3
Source : Logboats of England and Wales, with comparative material from European and other countries
Source details :
Page(s) : 99-101 (II)
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 51(i-ii)
Source Number : 4
Source : Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society
Source details :
Page(s) : 159-163
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 45
Source Number : 5
Source : The conservation of the Poole log-boat: sucrose treatment on a large scale
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Source Number : 6
Source : Oral information, correspondence (not archived) or staff comments
Source details : Katie Gardiner (Curator, Poole Museum) 25-AUG-2010
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Source Number : 7
Source : World Wide Web page
Source details : Poole Harbour Heritage Project Ltd. 2010. Poole Harbour Heritage Project. <> [Accessed 26-AUG-2010]
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Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Iron Age
Display Date : 295bc +/- 50 Years
Monument End Date : -245
Monument Start Date : -345
Monument Type : Logboat
Evidence : Find

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SZ 08 NW 11
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 457510
Relationship type : General association

Related Activities :