Photo: Joanna Thomson

The waters and seabed around the Goodwin Sands are littered with the remains of an unparalleled 2,000 recorded shipwrecks, representing the highest density of wrecks in UK waters, if not the world.

Seven of these wrecks are designated Protected Wrecks which means they have been identified by Historic England for special protection under the Protection of Wrecks Act 1973.

HMS Northumberland, HMS Restoration and the Rooswijk are also listed on Historic England’s Heritage at Risk register – this means they have been identified as being vulnerable to decay, neglect or inappropriate development.

Please click on the links below for more information on the individual wrecks

Admiral Gardner


HMS Northumberland

HMS Restoration


HMS Stirling Castle

GAD 23 | the Bow Sprit wreck

Although not Protected Wrecks,  Britannia and HMS Mary are also of historical interest.

The Protected Wrecks Act allows for restricted areas to be set around potentially important shipwrecks in order to protect them from uncontrolled interference or damage from activities such as unregulated divers, marine developments and marine aggregate extraction.

The Goodwin Sands Conservation Trust has been accepted as an Observer of the Protected Wrecks Association, which acts as a forum for communication among Protected Wreck project teams.

With so many protected heritage assets present in the Goodwin Sands, it is intended that the Trust will work with the Association in a mutually supportive way.

More documents about these wrecks can be found on our Resources page.