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12 Market Place, Faversham, Kent ME13 7AE

Graveney Boat

The Graveney Boat is a rare example of an Anglo-Saxon clinker-built boat, is over 1,000 years old, and is of international importance as the only vessel of her kind to have survived.

Graveney Boat

Graveney Boat

Graveney Boat

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Buried under two metres of soil, she was discovered in 1970 when improvement works were being undertaken to drainage channels in Graveney.

On board was found evidence of hops and quernstones from the Rhine Valley, suggesting that she traded across the North Sea as well as coast-wise.

In an urgent rescue operation, she was carefully removed by the National Maritime Museum for conservation and stabilisation by the Mary Rose Trust.

A half-scale model of the Boat built in 1988 suggested that she had a crew of four, and under sail could carry a five-ton cargo at 4 knots in Force 4 conditions.

Graveney Boat to Faversham?

The museum has no plans to show the boat itself, but is keen to see her on display in a suitable setting. It is hoped a suitable home for her can be found in Faversham, close to where she was found.

In view of her importance, she will need to be housed in a secure, climate-controlled environment and displayed in a way which puts her in her historical context, so that visitors do not see her in sterile isolation, but can conjure up an image of the historic context in which she operated.

Faversham Town Council, Swale Borough Council, Kent County Council, Faversham's MP (Hugh Robertson), the Faversham Society and other local interests are keen to see the Boat on display in the town.

Costs of bringing the Graveney Boat to Faversham (roughly estimated at around £1m) are likely to be beyond local resources, but, provided matching funding can be found, it is hoped charitable funds and foundations will meet much of it. Funding will probably also be sought from national funders, such as the Heritage Lottery Fund.

As a first step, a steering group has been formed comprising local and national representatives and a project feasibility study has been commissioned through the Faversham Enterprise Partnership and the Faversham Society. The Tourism Company are undertaking the work, which is nearing completion. The study's findings will initially be submitted to the steering group.