Our ethos is simple: to protect and promote maritime heritage in an ever changing world. We believe that this can only be achieved by building strong partnerships with other heritage and marine organisations to together monitor and raise awareness of sites of archaeological significance.

The Trust engages some of best researchers and academics in marine archaeology which is why we currently lead, contribute to, and work in partnership on projects with a range of UK and EU organisations and funding bodies.

The Trust will:

  • Promote maritime archaeological study in accordance with professional and museum codes of conduct and practice.
  • Promote the in situ preservation and management of important archaeological sites in its area of interest.
  • Support local, regional and national initiatives for improvements to the legislation regarding the preservation and management of maritime archaeological heritage.
  • Promote public awareness, enjoyment and participation in maritime archaeological heritage.
  • Provide a maritime archaeological service to Hampshire County Council, the Isle of Wight Council, Southampton City Council, Portsmouth City Council and other Local Authorities.
  • Ensure that maritime archaeology plays an important role in coastal planning, management and policy development in the Solent and Wight areas.
  • Carry out maritime archaeological surveys and investigations for incorporation into environmental assessments and similar studies.
  • Compile and maintain a database, and base chart, of all known maritime archaeological sites in the Solent and Wight areas and exchange information with local SMR holders and the National Archaeological Record (Maritime Sites).
  • Promote archaeological awareness and competence amongst divers.
  • Support, and where possible, assist in the publication of the results of maritime archaeological investigations, surveys and research undertaken in the Solent, Wight and adjacent South Coast areas.
  • Liase with other local, regional and national organisations involved in maritime archaeology and related disciplines.


The HWTMA is a charitable trust (registered charity number 900025)