Bronze Age boat sported a sail

Engineer Edwin Gifford has built a crude sailing boat based on the remains of a Bronze Age craft dug up on the banks of the River Humber.

Gifford’s 50ft craft which cost 30,000 pound sterling to build, sports a single squaresail and has sparked a debate about when the first sailing boat put to sea. Some say it was in 500 BC, but Gifford’s craft which has been trialled on the Solent takes the claim back to 1800BC.

The last cargo vessel sailing in Northern Europe was the Thames barge Cambria. She carried her final freight in 1970.