Historic England awards £73,000 for conservation of Bronze Age boats
- Credit: Historic England
More than £70,000 has been awarded by Historic England for the conservation and protection of rare Bronze Age log boats located at Flag Fen.
All eight boats were unearthed in 2011 by the Cambridge Archaeological Unit at Must Farm on the edge of a working quarry at Whittlesey.
Historic England has stepped in with grant funding for a three-year project to develop the conservation and preservation of the log boats.
Match funding of £48,854 has been provided by Peterborough City Council and the conservation work will be led by York Archaeological Trust.
In 2011 to 12, full excavation of the log boats was carried out by Cambridge Archaeological Unit, funded by Forterra, the owners of the site.
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Since their excavation, the eight log boats have been on display in climate-controlled conditions at Flag Fen Visitor Centre.
Their conservation involves being constantly sprayed with a wax and water solution.
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In 2020, the impact of COVID-19 resulted in the demise of the organisation that had previously managed Flag Fen on behalf of Peterborough City Council.
Having reviewed the best conservation strategy for the log boats, Historic England has awarded this grant to develop their conservation and protection.
Tony Calladine, regional director of Historic England in the East of England said: “The impact of COVID-19 has been immediate and devastating for many cultural and heritage organisations.
“In this urgent situation, Historic England stepped in to ensure the protection of these incredibly rare historic artefacts.
“It is vital that such internationally-significant objects as the Must Farm log boats are protected and conserved so they can tell their story to future generations.”
Councillor Steve Allen, cabinet member for culture at Peterborough City Council, said: “This investment in preserving the log boats supports the ambitious plans that we have for Flag Fen.
“The boats will have pride of place in the new museum extension, it links Must Farm where they were discovered and Whittlesey Heritage Centre to Flag Fen where they have been housed and the conservation has taken place, to the Peterborough Museum.
“This will create a must-see UK and international ‘Bronze Age Trail’ tourism trail, boosting the local economy and footfall to the city centre.”