Ferriby Boat Model

Contributed by Hull and East Riding Museum

A 1:20 scale model of the Bronze Age Ferriby Boat. ©Hull and East Riding Museum, Hull Museums

Vessels such as these may have been used for cross-channel trade.Between 1937 and 1963 Christopher and Edward (Ted) Wright discovered three Bronze Age ships at North Ferriby on the Humber foreshore. Excavation showed that all were originally about 16m long and built of oak planks sewn together with yew withies.

The Ferriby Boats have been dated to between about 2000 and 1800BC, with the vessel known as 'Ferriby 3' being the oldest sewn-plank craft discovered in Europe. The discovery of tools and the remains of a capstan at the same site suggest that there may have been a shipyard at North Ferriby 4,000 years ago. Indeed, the vessels themselves seem to have been partly dismantled perhaps for recycling into new ones.

The Ferriby Boats would have been ideally suited to working the Humber, whether east/west or across to the south bank. However, recent sea trials of the 'Oakleaf', a half-scale reconstruction, suggest craft of this type were capable of crossing the North Sea.

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