The Gloucester Project

The Wreck of the Gloucester off Yarmouth by Johan Danckerts, c. 1682
The Wreck of the Gloucester off Yarmouth by Johan Danckerts, c. 1682

© National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London.

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The Gloucester by Willem van de Velde the Elder, c. 1680.
The Gloucester by Willem van de Velde the Elder, c. 1680.

© The Boijmans Museum

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A Chart from 'Atlas Maritimus' by John Seller, 1675
A Chart from 'Atlas Maritimus' by John Seller, 1675

© National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London.

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The Wreck of the Gloucester off Yarmouth by Johan Danckerts, c. 1682
The Wreck of the Gloucester off Yarmouth by Johan Danckerts, c. 1682

© National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London.

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The University of East Anglia’s project ‘The Wreck of the Gloucester: The Life and Times of a Seventeenth-Century Third-Rate Warship’ will produce a biography of the Gloucester frigate across its full career from 1654 to 1682 and from inception to salvage.

In 2007, the shipwreck of the Gloucester was discovered by Norfolk divers Julian and Lincoln Barnwell, and James Little, located about 45km off Great Yarmouth. It has rested on the seafloor since sinking after striking the Leman and Ower sandbanks on 6 May 1682 whilst James Stuart, Duke of York and Catholic heir to the Protestant throne, was onboard enroute to Scotland.

Funded by The Leverhulme Trust (2021−24), the Gloucester Project offers an unparalleled opportunity to research the life and times of the only surviving third-rate Cromwellian warship and aims to revolutionize understanding of the Gloucester’s unique significance at national and international levels.

If you would like to support our ongoing historical research assessing the Gloucester's contribution to naval history and its wider importance to understandings of early modern social, political, and cultural history, please see the Giving to UEA webpage (UEA is an exempt charity: HMRC reference number XN423).