Accepted Paper:

When the experts are wrong.....conserving the maritime historic environment  


Mark Horton (University of Bristol)

Paper short abstract:


Paper long abstract:

The conservation of the historic environment often requires expert judgements of value and significance, which have been developed through academic debate and discourse. In some areas, this academic context has been either lacking or based upon a very limited understanding of the evidence. The paper will address some of the issues within the maritime historic environment, where many of the assets lie well outside what might normally be considered as important by the academy, but are often the subject of passionate debate about their importance by local communities. Three case studies will be examined to illustrate when these local communities or individuals have taken up the cause of maritime heritage, and how their activities have influenced the wider national debate. The first will be the Purton Hulks, in Gloucestershire, where there has been a long campaign to protect and conserve them by a local friends group. Secondly I will consider the City of Adelaide - Britain's most complete 19th century clipper, shortly to be sent to Australia, by the Scottish Executive. Finally, I will examine the plight of 400+ 1 WW wrecks in the Bristol channel, and the absence of any effective protection or academic study.

Panel S03
Who needs experts? Counter mapping cultural heritage