Hayle Ships' Timbers

Early in 2005 CISMAS was contacted by the Cornwall Archaeological Unit (now HES) who requested that they record a group of six suspected ships’ timbers. These timbers were in the possession of a general builder based in Hayle, Cornwall. The timbers had previously been the subject of dendrochronological anaysis, unfortunately there were insufficient growth rings to enable a fell date to be established.

The Tyringham Arms public house, from which the timbers were retrieved during renovation work. The Tyringham Arms public house

The six timbers had been removed from the Tyringham Arms public house, Lelant Downs, during renovation work undertaken in the late 1990s. Two of these timbers were significantly larger than the other four and almost certainly originated from a vessel’s frame. The four smaller timbers were shortened sections of ships planking, each of which demonstrated evidence of once being sheathed in copper.

CISMAS members completed a drawn and photographic record of the timbers and undertook to establish, as far as was possible, their probable origin.

One of the two frame timbers recorded by CISMAS..

The matching trenail diameters on both the planking and frame timbers implies that they may have come from the same vessel. If this is the case it can be estimated that the vessel was constructed in the mid to late 18th century (post 1761), after the introduction of copper sheathing.

Considering the dimensions of the Hayle timbers it is probable that the vessel from which they originated did not exceed twenty meters in length.

For Further information about the Hayle Ships' Timbers download the Survey Report or Contact Us.