Salcombe Cannon Site (Protected wreck site)



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Shipwrecks added since November 2014

SS Newholm
SS Ambassador
SS Mendi
SS Skaala
Privateer Dragon 1757
MV Napoli
MV Lucy
HMT Caroline
German Submarine U-260
SS Basil
Glenart Castle
SMS Margraf











Above are some of the artefacts raised and now in the British Museum      Photo 'British Museum'

This is a protected wreck site off West Prawle, Devon in position 50 12 41.76N 03 44 40.74E
There is a 300m exclusion zone

The Salcombe Cannon wreck site is close to two other designated wreck sites in the Erme Estuary which the South West Maritime Archaeological Group (SWMAG) are investigating. In 1992 this group described the Salcombe Cannon site as: "A cannon site with nothing else visible" but in 1994, following seabed changes, other artefacts including gold were revealed and the SWMAG began recording the site. Gold jewellery and coins dating between 1510 and 1636 have been recovered from the site and were purchased by the British Museum in 1998. For two seasons information about the site was initially kept confidential between the Receiver of Wreck, the finders and the Archaeological Diving Unit (working for the Advisory Committee on Historic Wreck). The site was designated under the Protection of Wrecks Act in 1997 when news about it was made public. The vessel is unknown but is dated between 1630 and 1640, and it has yielded the largest ever find of Moroccan gold in Europe .

The image below is of one of the cannons

For more information why not visit

The BBC have made various documentaries of the site including "White Slaves Pirate Gold" by Icon Films. In the film they suggested one theory that this was possibly a Barbary pirate ship. More can be read about the British Slaves on the Barbary coast here

A video of the film, although not in English, can be found here