UNNAMED WRECK AT MOUTH OF LERI CHANNEL;LERI WRECK

Site Details



NPRN
506769
Map Reference
SN69SW
Grid Reference
SN6162393928
Unitary (Local) Authority
Maritime
Old County
Maritime
Community
Maritime
Type of Site
WRECK
Broad Class
MARITIME
Period
Post Medieval

Site Description

The stern and part of the starboard side of the vessel can be seen eroding out of the steep bank of the Aber Leri. Some 1-1.5m of sediment has accumulated over the hulk and the deck has collapsed under the weight. A lone roofing slate can be seen protuding from the interior of the hull. Timbers from the overhanging stern remain only partially attached. The external planking measures 230mm deep and 40mm wide and is fastened with treenails 30mm in diameter. The hulk was the subject of a laser scanning survey by the Royal Commission in 2014.

Event and Historical Information:
The third of three vessels depicted on an Admiralty chart published in 1892 (based on surveys undertaken in 1890). Sources suggest that the vessels were part of the Derwenlas slate-carrying fleet which was made redundant after the coming of the railway closed the quays in the upper reaches of the estuary. However, the Minutes of the Cambrian Railway Company retained at The National Archives, Kew, note that the Aberdyfi ferry was also engaged carrying minerals in the last years of its ownership by company. Surveys undertaken by the Malvern Archaeological Diving Unit and Dyfed Archaeological Trust in 2015 has confirmed that the three hulks are markedly different in size (see NPRN 407989 and 408431). The hypothesis that is now being explored is that the hulks are, in fact, the last three sailing ferries (small, medium and large) which were used in the slate trade as well as for general cargo carrying around the estuary. This hulk may be middle-sized sailing ferry used for passengers and to transfer stock animals. It seems likely that these vessels were put to a last useful purpose in 1868 after the ferry service was ended by the railway company - to mark a difficult turn in the channel.

Sources include:
Admiralty Chart OCB1484-B3, RCAHMW Digital Collections
C C Green, 1993, The Coastlines of the Cambrian Railways, pg126

Maritime Officer, RCAHMW, March 2016.

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