Saxon boat ashore in Portsmouth’s City museum’s new display

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AN early Saxon logboat is on display at Portsmouth City Museum.

The Saxon vessel – up to 1,600 years old – was uncovered in the mudflats at Langstone Harbour in 2003.

It is a hollowed-out oak tree, carbon-dated to 400-640AD, and was most likely to have been used by local people, for coastal fishing and short-distance travel. It was discovered by John Cross and Arthur Thomas Mack, who had been looking for prehistoric flint tools at the harbour.

The Mary Rose Trust spent seven years conserving the logboat.

Head of research at Hampshire and Wight Trust for Maritime Archaeology Julie Satchell said: ‘It shows the long history of seafaring and marine exploitation in and around the Solent.

‘We hope seeing it up close, such as the tool marks where the tree has been hollowed out and peg holes to gauge the thickness during construction, will bring the remains to life and inspire future generations about maritime heritage.’

The boat will be on display with other artefacts from the Portsmouth area, including Saxon jewellery and weaponry.