Built in 1744 and captured from the French three years later, HMS Invincible was considered one of the finest ships in the Georgian Royal Navy. Its innovative design gave it many technical advantages over British vessels, and it was eagerly copied by shipwrights – but in 1758, the Invincible sank off Portsmouth. The wreck was undisturbed for over 200 years, but now archaeologists exploring its well-preserved hull – still packed with provisions and the possessions of its crew – are illuminating life on board an 18th-century warship.
From underwater archaeology to underground labour, 6,000 years ago the site now known as Cissbury Ring in West Sussex was home to almost 300 shafts dug by Neolithic flint-miners. The landmark’s long history is now being showcased through an innovative interpretive trail, and CA went to try it out.
The Cissbury Ring trail is intended to encourage care for the site by fostering better understanding of its archaeological features, and our next article also highlights efforts to safeguard historic structures: this time in Canterbury, by SAVE Britain’s Heritage. We next visit Butser Ancient Farm, a Hampshire-based experimental archaeology centre that celebrates its 50th birthday this year. Our article traces the past and present of this influential site, and shares memories from some of the people who have been involved with, or inspired by, its work.
Finally, we take a trip to Burlington House, home of the Society of Antiquaries of London and its collections of more than 130,000 books and 40,000 objects. A new Affiliate Membership aims to make these resources more open to the public, so CA dropped by to learn about the Society’s history and holdings.