ID: TXA00310 / Tony Millatt

TitleOld anchor at Mersea Museum
AbstractThe anchor in the entrance drive to Mersea Museum was recovered from the Barrow Deep by Mersea fisherman Pat Mead in 1977. Pat says the anchor was caught below the Mid Barrow on the Sunk side and it had 10 fathoms of tarred rope hawser attached. He was on the OAKLEIGH with Carl Seeley as crew. The crane at the Hythe measured 2 tons 1 ¾ cwt. "They dropped it on the quay to knock off ½ ton of accretion."
Pat went to an 'expert' at the time, who said it came from a Naval frigate and it was a kedge, not the main anchor.
More details of the anchor: It has a wooden stock 4.5m long which looks to be original and a length of shank of 3.26m. There is still the remains of a rope serving round the ring, which confirms the anchor was used on a rope and not a chain.
It is not easy to reliably date the anchor. It has been recorded on the Big Anchor Project and they make the following comments:
From the condition of the anchor and the difficulty in determining the true shape of the flukes and also because of the shank being so badly corroded makes getting a date inconclusive. Getting a date from the stock alone is not as simple as might seem - iron stocks became fashionable after 1800 but even up to 1856 anchors over three tons had wooded stocks. The ends of the stock were square up to 1780 when become rounded to avoid damage to copper sheathing (but the Mersea Museum anchor has square ends, somewhat rounded!).
From your dimensions - length 3.26m (10ft 8in) and 2.23m (7ft 3 in) and the 42cm (1ft in) diameter ring and the palm or fluke size (55cm (1ft 10in) x 72cm (2ft 4 in) might be a Stream anchor from a 50 gun ship (from the established Sizes and Weights of Anchors for the Royal Navy c.1763). From the 1815 Table of dimensions for RN anchors your dimensions would make this a 11cwt weight anchor - (quite small as table goes from 1cwt to 90cwt - the largest used in First Rate ships at the time). [This calculated weight is not consitent with the weight given by Pat Mead when he found the anchor!]
However it is difficult to gauge size of ship from size of anchor as ships would have different size anchors for different purposes all on board at the same time - imagine a large anchor for a small ship being used as the main Bower anchor, but on a large ship the same could be used as a smaller Kedge or Stream maneuvering anchor.
AuthorTony Millatt
Published15 September 2009
SourceMersea Museum
IDTXA00310
Related Images:
 Anchor recovered from Barrow Deep by West Mersea Skipper Pat Mead of fishing boat OAKLEIGH and landed at Colchester Hythe. The anchor weighed over 2 tons and is believed to be pre-1820.
 October 2009 more information from Pat Mead:
 The anchor was caught below the Mid Barrow on the Sunk side and it had 10 fathoms of tarred rope hawser attached. He was on the OAKLEIGH with Carl Seeley as crew. The crane at the Hythe measured 2 tons 1 ¾ cwt. They dropped it on the quay to knock off ½ ton of accretation.
 Pat went to an 'expert' who said it came from a Naval frigate and it was a kedge, not the main anchor.  IA003350
ImageID:   IA003350
Title: Anchor recovered from Barrow Deep by West Mersea Skipper Pat Mead of fishing boat OAKLEIGH and landed at Colchester Hythe. The anchor weighed over 2 tons and is believed to be pre-1820.
October 2009 more information from Pat Mead:
The anchor was caught below the Mid Barrow on the Sunk side and it had 10 fathoms of tarred rope hawser attached. He was on the OAKLEIGH with Carl Seeley as crew. The crane at the Hythe measured 2 tons 1 ¾ cwt. They dropped it on the quay to knock off ½ ton of accretation.
Pat went to an 'expert' who said it came from a Naval frigate and it was a kedge, not the main anchor.
Date:August 1977
Source:Mersea Museum
 The anchor in Mersea Museum grounds is thought to date from before 1820. It has a wooden stock, with wrought iron shank, arms and flukes. The stock is about 4.5m long.
 It was caught in the net of fishing boat OAKLEY by Mersea fisherman Pat Mead in August 1977.  TM2_3136
ImageID:   TM2_3136
Title: The anchor in Mersea Museum grounds is thought to date from before 1820. It has a wooden stock, with wrought iron shank, arms and flukes. The stock is about 4.5m long.
It was caught in the net of fishing boat OAKLEY by Mersea fisherman Pat Mead in August 1977.
Date:26 July 2009
Source:Mersea Museum / Tony Millatt Collection