The Swash is likely to be the Fame of Hoorn a dutch ship wrecked in January 1631 on its way to the West Indies to take part in the salt trade.

All 45 crew survived the wrecking but the ship was still plundered by the locals, attempts to reclaim the goods were unsuccessful and the ship was set to be cleared from the channel.

The Site

The wreck is that of an early 17th century armed merchant ship. It is located on the edge of Hook Sand (a large sandbank known historically as an area of shipping loss) in the Swash Channel in the approaches to Poole Harbour, Dorset on the south coast of the United Kingdom. The site is formed by a spread of archaeological material and almost the entire port side of the vessel


The Excavation

BU was granted the licence to the site in 2005 as PHC’s archaeological advisors.  A pre-disturbance and monitoring surveys were conducted by the staff and students between 2005-2009.

In 2010 BU began a large scale underwater archaeological excavation which continued until 2013 culminating with the raising of the eight metre long carved rudder.

Post Excavation

After the excavation a long term project was initiated to record and scan all the artefacts and attempt to reconstruct parts of the ship recovered and tell the story of the lives aboard the vessel



The Swash produced over 1000 finds, for a shipwreck this is not a lot, the finds recovered from the site will be accessioned and displayed by Poole Museum

Search the catalogue to see a selection of the best finds from the site