This Anglo-Saxon boat was discovered in 1970 near the village
of Graveney, near Whitstable, in north Kent, England. The vessel
lay in a silted watercourse in what is now an old marsh.
Pottery found with the boat is of 8-9th century type.
Attempts have been made to date the boat by C 14 (AD 944 +/- 30),
and by dendrochronology. The latter in 1978 gave a date of AD
927 +/- 2, and this was revised in 1983 to AD 895 +/- 2. But in
1994 it was not possible to obtain a dendro match.
The boat was of oak and was clinker built, its remains being 8.9m
long, 3.4m wide and up to 1.5m high. A flat keel had eight strakes
fastened to ten frames. Iron rivets, some fastened through wooden
pegs, held the overlapping strakes, with a caulking of wool treated
with vegetable tar. The frames were attached to the strakes by
treenails of willow. Three of the frames had recesses unevenly
placed over the centreline just possibly suggesting that there
had once been a mast-step timber - but this is far from certain
as the recesses had been filled with rough pieces of wood. The
boat was presumably pointed at both ends originally, though only
part of the stern had survived.
The boat has been reconstructed at about 13.60m long, 4m wide
and 1m high amidships. A hydrostatic study shows that it was seaworthy
and was capable of sailing with a cargo of 6-7 tonnes. The low
freeboard, however, would make the boat dangerous in a rough sea.
Fragments of Mayen lava querns and traces of hops suggest former
The remains of this boat were recovered by the National Maritime
V. Fenwick, The Graveney Boat. 1978, British Archaeological
Reports, British Series 53.