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The University of Southampton
Archaeology Part of Humanities

Students demonstrate traditional shipbuilding skills in the New Forest

Published: 30 April 2015
Bucker's Hard

Archaeologists from the University of Southampton are set to demonstrate shipbuilding skills from the days of Britain’s most famous Royal Navy flag officer, Vice Admiral Horatio Nelson.

The staff and students will get hands-on experience of using tools and applying techniques from the 18th and 19th century as part of a weekend (2 – 4 May) of activities at Buckler’s Hard, near Southampton.

Project organiser and Director of the University’s Centre for Maritime Archaeology Professor Jon Adams comments: “This is a fantastic opportunity for our students to get a practical understanding of the great skill that was needed to build the ships of this period – skill which would have been practiced at the very same site at Buckler’s Hard over 200 years ago.”

The students will share their work with visitors who can watch as they convert oak timbers from the Beaulieu Estate into the main components of the framework of a ship – discovering the challenges faced by craftsmen of the time, and working out how they overcame them.

The weekend will also be an opportunity to see the recently completed Shipwright School, which the University has helped to develop and where courses teaching traditional shipbuilding will soon be underway.

Archaeologists at the University have a long established connection with Buckler’s Hard through the Beaulieu River Project – an investigation of the archaeology, history and geomorphology of the Beaulieu River.

People can learn more about Maritime Archaeology by studying, for free, the University of Southampton Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) ‘Shipwrecks and Submerged Worlds: Maritime Archaeology’. More details can be found here:

Notes for editors

1) For more information about Buckler’s Hard visit:

2) For more information about Archaeology at Southampton visit:

3) Through world-leading research and enterprise activities, the University of Southampton connects with businesses to create real-world solutions to global issues. Through its educational offering, it works with partners around the world to offer relevant, flexible education, which trains students for jobs not even thought of. This connectivity is what sets Southampton apart from the rest; we make connections and change the world.


For further information contact:

Peter Franklin, Media Relations, University of Southampton, Tel: 023 8059 5457, email:

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