SHIPS Project

Objects and Finds

The bottom of Plymouth Sound and its estuaries are covered in objects of all ages. Some objects will have been lost in shipwrecks, some accidentally dropped overboard, some deliberately placed in the sea, but all are part of the story of Plymouth.

People have been recovering objects for many years, first by wading in shallow water, then using diving bells and dredgers, by standard dress divers but more recently by free swimming SCUBA divers. Some of the objects will have been recovered for profit to be melted down as scrap metal or salvaged timbers to be reused for a new boat or house. But many of the things found in the sea have ended up in the houses of the people who found them, displayed on the mantelpiece or left forgotten in the garage or garden.

The SHIPS Project team are interested in any of the objects that have been recovered from underwater as all will have a story we can learn about. We collect information about things that have been found then share it with other people who may have found something similar or are doing research. Often we get people telling us more about what we have found as they recognise something we have put on the web site that they have seen before.

For each object or find we take photographs and record some basic information, then put it all on a web page on this web site. For the more unusual or special objects we may also do a drawing of it as that can sometimes tell you more than just the photographs and description. The photographs and description can be done by you and simply sent to us to add to the site. For more important objects we like to photograph them ourselves so we either visit you to take photographs or borrow the objects for a day or two. All objects are returned to the finders, we don't keep any of them unless they are no longer wanted in which case we donate them to a local museum.

Objects recovered from the sea that have come from wrecks should be declared to the Receiver of Wreck. However, if you have not got round to declaring your objects yet then we can still add them to the web site as all the information is posted anonymously.

A few other objects not from the Plymouth area have also been included if they have a connection with a local shipwreck.

The JNAPC and Receiver of Wreck provide advice on what to do if you find something underwater

email If you have any more information about this then please contact us.