Reply To: Fenland stone barges

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Malcolm Lewis

    According to the Wikipedia entry re Winchester Cathedral the Norman reconstruction used the high-quality limestone from the Binstead quarry near Fishbourne on the Isle of White. It would have been shipped from the quay in Fishbourne on the Medina River. Probably the vessels used would have been cogs which were employed throughout Europe for trading from the tenth century onward. They were clinker built with a flat bottom/keel and a single mast.
    Binstead limestone was also used for the building of Chichester Cathedral, Romsey Abbey and parts of the Tower of London. These huge buildings required many tons of stone and the coastal traffic around England at the time would have been full of shipping carrying this heavy product to the building sites.
    The Binstead / Freshwater ship yard built 36-gun navy frigates during the Napoleonic Wars. It seems likely the yard had also built cogs for shipping stone over the centuries.