As the home of the Royal Navy, Spithead has been a key anchorage for hundreds of years. The mooring of vessels has left a legacy of buoyage infrastructure in addition to the wrecks of some of the vessels themselves, such as the Royal George and Boyne.
As well as the naval focused area around Portsmouth Harbour, the Solent has a large number of other anchorage sites, many of which have associated seabed material. Current research is gathering information from historic charts and any available recoveries of objects or collections from in and around the Solent to help develop understanding of these sites.
This work can also draw on the results of an innovative project undertaken in the 1990s which responded to reports from local fishermen with controlled trawls in areas of the known historic anchorages of Ryde Roads, Mother Bank and off the Medina Estuary. Although this project was seeking evidence from Roman ships and shipping during the two day trawl virtually all the material recovered was post-Medieval in date.