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HMS London to be protected
HMS London, a 17th century warship sunk in the Thames Estuary, is to be designated as a protected historic site under the Protection of Wrecks Act 1973.

On 23 October Barbara Follett, Minister for Culture, announced that she had decided to take up the recommendation of protection by English Heritage, on the ground that these rare and well-preserved remains provide a unique insight into one of the most significant periods in Englands history - a time when British naval power was emerging on the European stage.

The three-deck, Second Rate warship sank in 1665 when she blew up in spectacular fashion near Southend after sailing from Chatham, taking 300 people with her. The criticised raising of some bronze cannon from the wreck site last summer, without pre-survey or other suitable archaeological practices, contributed to the decision to protect the site.

HMS London was one of seven wrecks featured in Septembers BBC2 documentary Thames Shipwrecks: A Race Against Time, about the work of governmental contractor Wessex Archaeology and Port of London Authority in surveying key sites in the Thames.

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