Archaeologists exploring lost wrecks in British seas have discovered a collection of forgotten cannon off the Farne Islands.
A team of divers are exploring 88 wrecks lost before 1840 in a bid to find the most important historic sites. Now 19 cannon, some of which were undiscovered, have been found at the Gun Rocks wreck.
Archaeologist Graham Scott said they are now investigating the guns’ origins which are thought to be from the 1700s.
The cannon were discovered with help from a group who originally searched the site in the 1960s and 70s, along with English Heritage and Wessex Archaeology.
Mr Scott, of Wessex Archaeology, said: “The rise of recreational diving in the 1960s and 70s in Britain meant that divers started to discover many wreck sites in the Farne Islands that were previously unknown. In the 1970s divers from the Tyneside 141 British Sub Aqua Club discovered a large number of cannon on the seabed at Gun Rocks.”
The new search rediscovered the 1970s cannon site and several previously unknown cannon. Corroded guns on the seabed are notoriously difficult to identify, but initial investigations suggest the guns are eight and six pounders manufactured in Sweden between 1670 and 1710.
According to records at Bamburgh Castle, the cannon are likely to be what remains of a Dutch ship which was carrying 40 cannon when it struck the Farne Islands in 1704.
However, other possible explanations are still being considered as it is not known why the Dutch ship was in the area.
The aim of the project, being carried out by English Heritage, is to give the most important sites protected status.