Wales

Ancient fishing baskets found off Monmouthshire coast

The fishermen Image copyright Black Rock Lave Net Heritage Fishery
Image caption The brothers are members of the Black Rock Lave Net Heritage Fishery who like to keep an eye on the estuary out of season

Fishing baskets buried for hundreds of years under silt and clay have been found by two brothers walking off the Monmouthshire coast.

The items, which could date back to the 14th Century, were uncovered on the Severn Estuary after recent storms.

Martin and Richard Morgan, who found the four baskets, said the level of detail was incredible.

"It's amazing to think the last person to see them was possibly in the 14th Century," said Martin.

It is not the first time the brothers, who are part of the Black Rock Lave Net Fishermen, have made a discovery in the estuary.

The group of fishermen, who like to keep an eye on the river bank out of season, have found prehistoric animal bones and wooden ship wrecks in the past.

Image copyright Black Rock Lave Net Heritage Fishery
Image caption Mr Morgan said the baskets would just be recorded as they were too fragile to be moved and would fall apart

Martin, who lives in Monmouthshire, said similar baskets found by the group about seven years ago were recorded by Cadw and carbon dated by Reading University to being from the 12th-14th Century.

But he said that moving them would be difficult as they were so fragile they would just fall apart after years of being preserved under layers of mud, silt and clay.

"They must have been discarded or lost, or there could have been some event which covered them up," said Martin, adding that there must have been a large fishing base on the estuary in the past.

"We are getting a lot of interest, they are not something you will see in a lot of places in the world," he added.

"People have fished this estuary for forever, it's great for our fishermen to uncover and record some history."

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