BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: UK: Scotland  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
England
N Ireland
Scotland
Wales
Politics
Education
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Wednesday, 3 July, 2002, 13:32 GMT 14:32 UK
Explorers seek sunken treasure
River Tay
The vessels went down in the River Tay
A diving company is hoping scientific research will help its search for sunken treasure believed to have been lost in a Scottish river almost 350 years ago.

Scientists from St Andrews University are carrying out a detailed acoustic survey of the bed of the Tay Estuary near Dundee.

The mapping work was commissioned by Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) as it considers whether to designate the area a Special Area of Conservation.


I'm confident that if there is sizeable amounts of metal - for example gold and silver bullion - down there, we will find it

Gary Allsopp
Subsea Explorer
Coventry-based diving company Subsea Explorer is hoping to use the data found by the project to help it locate a fleet of 60 boats which sank after looting the city in 1651.

Their cargo has become known as General Monk's treasure.

The vessels contained booty seized on the orders of Oliver Cromwell's right-hand man in Scotland as his army went on a killing spree in Dundee.

However, the fleet was caught in an autumn storm at the mouth of the River Tay as it sailed away.

No-one knows what the sunken cargo is worth - and estimates have varied from 60,000 to 2.5bn.

Oliver Cromwell
Cromwell's right-hand man seized the booty
Underwater explorer Gary Allsopp, the chief executive of Subsea Explorer, believes he knows where the fleet went down.

"We have the best technology and the best people behind us and I'm confident that if there is sizeable amounts of metal - for example gold and silver bullion - down there, we will find it.

"If so, it will be of major historical and archaeological significance to the City of Discovery and the UK," he said.

Representatives of the diving team have been in contact with staff from St Andrews and may go out on its research vessel to look at the quality and coverage of the acoustic data being collected.

A spokeswoman for SNH said: "Should Subsea Explorer find the whereabouts of the 'missing fleet' they will need to seek a number of consents and approvals before they could start any more detailed investigative work."

This would include an assessment of any potential impacts arising from such work on the features of interest within the proposed Special Area of Conservation.

Buried treasure

"SNH is the government body with respect to conservation, enhancement, enjoyment, understanding and sustainable use of Scotland's natural heritage.

"We are not, of course, involved in looking for buried treasure," added the spokeswoman.

Experts from Edinburgh and Heriot-Watt Universities are also involved in other aspects of the mapping project.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
Dundee librarian David Kett
"Dundee was a very wealthy city at the time"
See also:

17 May 01 | Scotland
19 May 00 | N Ireland
04 Apr 00 | UK
25 Apr 99 | UK
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Scotland stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Scotland stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes