Posted 23rd Feb 2016
Signs of a lost British town that was destroyed by violent storms has been uncovered
Britain's Atlantis has been uncovered off of the coast of Dunwich, Suffolk. The small village was one of the largest in England in the 11th Century but was hit by heavy storms in the 13th and 14th centuries and as a result is now largely undersea.
Researchers have found that sediment from the cliffs corroborated with historical records. The search has taken place over the last three years and was funded by Touching the Tide - a £900,000 Heritage Lottery Fund scheme which has been exploring the changes along the Suffolk coast.
Despite being one of the biggest towns in England during the 11th century, the population of Dunwich currently stands at 120. There were two great storms in 1286 and 1326 which led to the loss of its harbour and the beginning of Dunwich's decline, as another great storm in 1338 not only silted up the port but led to a decreasing food production. The position of the old defensive town ditch also turned up a surprise as it suggested the town dates back to the Iron Age.
It was while carrying out underwater research using acoustic imaging technology that images of buildings were revealed. Professor David Sear, of the University of Southampton, said to the BBC: "We found the ruins of about four churches and we've also found ruins of what we think was a toll house. But we've also found shipwrecks for example, and there's some we've found with this Touching the Tide project, which no-one's known before."
Excavations initially began in 2015 when a dig revealed Dunwich dated back to prehistoric times, with the evidence pointing to the village being a "a substantial Saxon port, prior to its rapid growth following the Norman invasion".
Image courtesy of Adrian Cable and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence