Tide-line walk explores wreck of the historic cargo ship Amsterdam

Amsterdam SUS-160905-094356001
Amsterdam SUS-160905-094356001

Bexhill Museum’s latest guided walk took a group of people from the top of Galley Hill to the shipwreck of the Amsterdam buried in the sands off Bulverhythe.

David Hatherall, from the Museum, said: “During the walk, on a lovely spring evening, we were told that the Amsterdam was an 18th-century cargo ship of the Dutch East India Company.

“She was on her maiden voyage from the Netherlands to Java with a cargo mainly of wine, cloth and a considerable amount of silver bullion.

“The ship was commanded by the 33-year-old Captain Klump with over 300 crew and soldiers on board. After setting sail the vessel ran into a severe gale in the English Channel which resulted in the loss of the rudder.

“Fifty of the crew had already died of an unknown disease and many others became ill; very soon the crew mutinied. The ship finally ran aground in the mud and sand at Bulverhythe on January 26 1749.

“The story was continued after we had walked across the wet sands towards the sea to stand by the sunken keel which can still be seen on low spring or summer tides.

“In 1969 the Amsterdam was rediscovered, surveyed and partially excavated by Peter Marsden of the Shipwreck Museum, Hastings, and many of the ship’s finds can now be seen at the Museum. The shipwreck is protected under the Protection of Wrecks Act 1974 so diving on it or removing any artefacts is forbidden. Bexhill Museum’s next guided walk on Wednesday June 1 at 10.30am and will be a family ramble in the Highwoods lasting about an hour and a half.”

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