Rare chance to take a tour of historic Hastings shipwreck

People will be able to enjoy a guided tour of the historic St Leonards shipweck The Amsterdam for the first time in 18 months next week.

It is also an opportunity to view a perfectly preserved Bronze Age forest.

The Shipwreck Museum has organised the guided expedition to Bulverhythe Beach at low tide, on Thursday September 9, beginning at eight o’clock in the morning.

Tim McDonald, from the Museum, said: “It is eighteen months since the Shipwreck Museum was able to organise one of its long-established and hugely popular guided visits to the wreck of the Dutch East Indiaman, the Amsterdam, on Bulverhythe Beach.

Amsterdam Walk SUS-210209-124737001

“Back then, just before Covid-19 dramatically brought normal life to a shuddering halt, people were amazed by what they saw – not just the remarkably complete remains of a once-gallant ship, but also the impressive sight of a perfectly preserved Bronze Age forest as well as stretches of potentially fossil-lined Cretaceous rocks, dating to around 140 million years ago.

“Now, with the relaxation of pandemic restrictions, all is at last set fair for the visits to recommence.

“It is, in truth, extraordinary that what is generally recognised as the best preserved wreck of an East Indiaman – any East Indiaman, not just Dutch – in the entire world should lie on the doorstep of Hastings and St Leonards and yet most residents have no idea that such an incredible maritime treasure exists.

“But now is your chance to discover the Amsterdam and learn all about her history and fateful maiden voyage from experienced and knowledgeable guides who will also point out some of the unusual and fascinating features to be found on Bulverhythe Beach.

Tickets are available for purchase in the Shipwreck Museum, situated near the end of Rock-a-Nore Road in Hastings Old Town, either in person or by telephone on 01424 437452.

The cost of £6 for adults and £2 for children includes a copy of the fully-illustrated Amsterdam guidebook by Dr Peter Marsden, founder of the Shipwreck Museum and renowned expert on the wreck.

Tickets can also be obtained from the walk leaders on the day itself, but payment must be made by cash.

It is strongly recommended that visitors don appropriate footwear, bearing in mind that it can be wet, slippery and muddy, and warm clothes.

The walk begins from the observation platform on the far side of the bridge at the end of Bridge Way, St Leonards (TN38 8AP) at 8 am on September 9. Parking is available a little further along the A259 in the Bexhill direction. Look for the entrance on the south side, just past the pedestrian island as you travel west.

See also: {https://www.hastingsobserver.co.uk/news/people/hastings-pride-in-pictures-3364257|View pictures of Hastings Pride]