Mystery shipwrecks added to England's national heritage list

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Protection for unidentified rare surviving 19th-century cargo vessels, sunk in Thames and off south coast

The wrecks of two ships that sank off the south-east coast of England some time in the 19th century have been granted legal protection by the government, despite the identity of each remaining a mystery.

The ships, both wooden, sail-powered cargo vessels, were used in the day-to-day transport of goods, and were carrying slate and coal on their final voyages. While ships of this kind would have been a frequent sight in the mid to late 19th century, very few survive, according to Ken Hamilton, national listing adviser for Historic England.

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