The Great Storm of 1703

A Stuart time capsule has emerged from beneath the sand after 320 years. In early December 1703, barometers across South-Eastern England plunged as a cyclone made landfall in Britain leaving a path of destruction in its wake. In London, the roof of Westminster Abbey was ripped off and hundreds of ships in the Thames smashed together and left in heaps. 2000 Chimney stacks were destroyed and Queen Anne cowered in the cellar of St James Palace.

But the biggest damage was done to the Royal Navy; over 1000 seaman drowned and a fifth of its fleet was wrecked overnight. One of those ships the HMS Northumberland has recently begun to appear thanks to the shifting sediment of Goodwin Sands on the South-East coast. On the podcast to tell its story in the storm is archaeologist Dan Pascoe who is working with Historic England to dive on the wreck and learn what he can before it disappears once again forever.

Produced by Mariana Des Forges and mixed by Dougal Patmore.

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