Crossens Canoe

Contributed by Botanic Gardens Museum

Dugout canoe found near Crossens, Southport dated to AD 535.  © Sefton MBC

The area where the canoe was found was once the largest lake in England before it was drained.This canoe was found buried in a field near Crossens in 1899. It was identified as having an early origin, though strangely a musket was found in it and metal sheets had been riveted to the side. A cart was sent to transport the canoe to a safer location but the farmer's wife had locked the gates and demanded £50 before it could be moved! Instead she received 'a present of a couple of guineas' and the canoe was safely removed. The field in which the canoe was discovered lay near the northern shore of Martin Mere, which was the largest lake in England before it was drained. The canoe was probably used for fishing and was one of eleven found in the area. The canoe has been radiocarbon dated to AD 535 making it nearly 1500 years old. The date of AD 535 raises interesting questions as to who used the canoe as this period was after the Romans had left but before the Anglo-Saxons arrived.

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AD 535


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