Welcome and introduction

This web site details the discoveries of three Bronze Age Boats at North Ferriby in East Yorkshire, England. Produced by the Ferriby Heritage Trust, it tells the story of how two local boys helped to put North Ferriby onto the Maritime History map

ferriby map  

The Ferriby bronze age boats are probably one of the most important finds in maritime archeology. The technology and size of the boats has lead experts re-evaluate bronze age society. The Ferriby boats support the belief that man was capable of crossing oceans more than 4,000 years ago.

finding boat

A team of enthusiasts unearth the ancient boat in 1963 on the Humber foreshore


Ferriby 1 in the mub, 1963

The Wright brothers of Hull are to maritime history what their namesakes are to aviation. Yet the discoveries of Ted and Willy Wright are relatively unknown. Now the tide is turning.

In 1937 shifts in tidal currents had exposed the strata and that day they saw three great oak planks protruding from the estuarine clay: the brothers recognised them as the remains of a boat from antiquity. But how old? Initially it was thought to be of Viking origin, until analysis dated it from the bronze Age, more than 2500 years earlier.

In 1963, Ted made his most significant find, the third of the Bronze age boats. A 50 ft craft having the shape of a melon slice, with space for 18 paddlers. It was made of thick oak planks bound with twisted yew branches, and sealed with a moss caulking. The latest dating technology has determined that the bronze age boat could be 4,000 years old, making it Europe’s first known seacraft.


2013, Ferriby Heritage Trust Ltd. Charity No. 1062087 The Trust is not responsible for the content of external sites.



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Link to information on Oakleaf