Ship graveyard: what the eerie shore with abandoned ships looks like and why no one cleans it up

By TravelWiseNov 27, 2023 13:56 PMNews
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Ship graveyard: what the eerie shore with abandoned ships looks like and why no one cleans it up
In England, there is a ship graveyard. Source: Wikipedia

Not all Britons are aware of the existence of a genuine ship graveyard near the River Severn in Gloucestershire, England, which happens to be the largest in the UK. This site is known as Purton Hulks.

The rusted and decaying sides of the vessels intentionally remain in place to reinforce the riverbanks. According to the Daily Mail, the graveyard comprises 86 steel barges, concrete ships, and wooden cargo boats.

Most of these vessels were abandoned on the shore in the 1950s and have been left to the forces of nature since then. Subsequently, additional ships were also discarded at this location.

From an external perspective, it might appear that all these ships sank and were washed ashore, but the cemetery's formation is not attributed to such natural occurrences.

The collapse of the bank in 1909 raised concerns that the barrier between the river and the Gloucester and Sharpness Canal would be compromised. Old ships were intentionally grounded and subsequently filled with water and silt to create a barrier against erosion.

Ship graveyard: what the eerie shore with abandoned ships looks like and why no one cleans it up
There are more than 80 ships ashore. Source: Wikipedia

While there are fewer than 100 ships in the Purton Hulks graveyard, it has proven challenging to research the history of each vessel. Some have been in place for such an extended period that determining their owners and origin is now impossible.

However, certain ships in the graveyard have notable histories. For instance, one barge is recognized as an ancient monument, and several others are listed in the National Register of Historic Vessels.

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