Historic Marine Protected Area

Out Skerries Historic MPAHMPA5

Status: Designated

Documents

Where documents include maps, the use of this data is subject to terms and conditions (https://portal.historicenvironment.scot/termsandconditions).

Summary

Date Added
01/11/2013
Supplementary Information Updated
17/09/2015
Type
Secular: shipwreck
Local Authority
Shetland Islands
NGR
HU 68826 71273
Coordinates
468826, 1171273

The marine historic assets located within the Out Skerries Historic MPA are the remains of two vessels, the Kennemerland and Wrangels Palais, lying wrecked on or in the seabed, objects formerly contained in the vessels and deposits or artefacts which evidence previous human activity on board the vessels.

Boundaries of Historic Marine Protected Area

The area of sea within a distance of 250 metres of position latitude 60° 25'.167 north, longitude 00° 45'.121 west, and the area of sea within a distance of 100 metres of position latitude 60° 25'.467 north, longitude 00° 43'.388 west, excluding any seashore lying above mean high water spring tide.

Description

The Scottish Ministers are satisfied that designation of the Out Skerries Historic MPA is desirable for the purpose of preserving marine historic assets of national importance which are located within the area. The wrecked vessels are those of the Kennemerland, a merchant ship of the Dutch East India Company, lost at the South Mouth entrance to the harbour of Out Skerries in 1664, and the Wrangels Palais, a Danish warship reported as lost at Lamda Stack, close to Bound Skerry in July 1687. The wrecks of these vessels are located 1.7km apart around the archipelago of Out Skerries, a significant navigation hazard for shipping until the construction of a lighthouse at Bound Skerry in 1857.

Statement of National Importance

These two wrecks, located within close distance of one another, are of national importance as arguably the best preserved and best recorded examples of the numerous wrecks of vessels of international origins that are known to have occurred in the waters around Shetland during the 16th-18th centuries. They bear testament to Shetland's strategically significant geographic location on sea-routes linking northern Europe with the rest of the world. Indeed, these two wrecks, together with the other wrecks of northern European merchant and warship vessels in this area, represent one of the most significant concentrations of such wrecks worldwide. Alongside the extensive documentary archives and collections of artefacts held in public museums and libraries, the sites of both the Kennemerland and the Wrangels Palais retain high archaeological potential to significantly add to our knowledge and understanding of Dutch and Danish trading activity around Scotland's coasts during the 17th century. Together, they illustrate how the pattern of international trading activity by sea during the 16th-18th centuries has enriched the histories of the Northern Isles and Scotland as a whole.

Designation as an Historic MPA can help to enhance appreciation of the significance of these sites and to encourage responsible approaches to access, management and protection by sea users and relevant authorities.

Intrinsic characteristics

Divers from Aston University Sub Aqua Club identified a shipwreck in the South Mouth, Out Skerries, around 1971 and archaeological investigations took place between 1971-1987. Analysis of artefacts indicates that this is the wreck of the Dutch East Indiaman Kennemerland, recorded as lost at Stoura Stack on 20 December 1664. Archaeological investigations indicate that an initial impact occurred at Stoura Stack, characterised by the presence of three anchors, considerable numbers of bricks, iron cannon balls and more than 100 lead pig ingots that seem likely to have spilled out of the lower hold as the ship hit and split apart. A further two guns and a concretion, possibly from the Kennemerland, were identified close by on the SE side of Old Man Stack. Enough structural integrity was maintained to allow the upper structure of the ship to be carried into the voe at South Mouth, where a secondary impact occurred on a shallow reef. Excavations there identified numerous finds including ceramics, brick, lead and brass tobacco-boxes, as well as pewter golf-club heads, wooden fragments and other organic deposits, including samples of leather and rope. The golf club heads, together with clubs from the Lastdrager (1653), constitute the earliest evidence for the spread of golf from northern Europe. The remaining structure, however, appears to have settled in a linear scatter defined by six iron guns stretching as far as Trolsome, a small island 200m to the N. No other evidence of ship fabric has been found. Large iron features and brick remain on the seabed throughout the debris field. As the archaeological excavations have been relatively focussed and small-scale, it is highly likely that further archaeological remains will survive, particularly where pockets of sediment exist between boulders and gullies.

In 1990, divers discovered a group of cannons situated at a depth of 25-28m, at the base of a steep cliff on the S side of the easternmost point of the islet of Bound Skerry. This is an exposed coastal location and most of the finds are contained within a bed-rock basin, interspersed with boulders and rubble. Documentary research and a date stamp (1677) on one of two bronze guns indicate strongly that the remains originate from the wreck of the Wrangels Palais, built as a merchantman and bought for the Swedish Navy in 1669, then captured by the Danes in 1677. The Wrangels Palais is recorded as having run aground at Lamda Stack (approximately 1km NW of Bound Skerry) in dense fog on 23 July 1687. Archaeological investigations of the site between 1993-6 identified 33 guns (including the two bronze guns which were recovered), along with iron shot, anomalous small metal artefacts and fragments of wood. At the time of her loss, the Wrangels Palais is documented as having had around 46 guns. Discrepancies between the numbers of guns identified on the seabed and the documentary record suggest that some contemporary salvage may have taken place, or that investigations to date have only identified part of the remains of the Wrangels Palais. It is possible that some of the remains of the wreck may have fallen into deeper water offshore; alternatively, a section of the wreck may survive in the area of Lamda Stack, where the vessel originally struck.

Contextual characteristics

During the 16th-18th centuries, documentary records indicate losses of some 75 vessels of various north European and French and Spanish origins in Shetland waters. This particularly rich post-medieval shipwreck heritage is, at least in part, a consequence of Shetland's location close to major North Sea and Atlantic fishing grounds and on important trade routes between northern Europe, Scandinavia and the rest of the world. Until the end of the Napoleonic Wars, conflict and its effects have never been far away. A particularly notable concentration of wrecks relating to these activities has been identified in the waters surrounding Out Skerries, an island group at the easternmost edges of the Shetland archipelago, whose 'isles and rocks proved often fatal to seamen', as recorded on the geographer H Moll's chart of Shetland (1725). Numerous wrecks were recorded around the island group prior to the construction of a lighthouse at Bound Skerry in 1857.

Before its wrecking at Stoura Stack, the Kennemerland, an armed merchant vessel belonging to the Dutch East India Company (VOC), had left Texel (Holland) outward-bound to Batavia in the East Indies. Her cargo included a consignment of treasure and mercury, clay pipes, tobacco-boxes, golf clubs and jewel goods (for private trade), and brick/ingot ballast. She is one of several vessels with VOC connections lost in Shetland waters on the 'north about' route between Holland and the East Indies. The VOC favoured this route, particularly during war, to avoid the hazards of the English Channel; in time, an organised system developed whereby warships were sent to Shetland to provide convoy cover for the merchant fleet during its voyage across the North Sea. Other wrecks with VOC connections around Shetland include the merchant ship De Liefde (also lost in the Out Skerries, 1711), the fluitschip Lastdrager (lost Crussa Ness, Yell, 1653) and the escort warship Curaçao (lost Norwick, 1729). Of these, the Kennemerland is arguably the best preserved and most fully recorded site known to archaeologists.

The wreck of the Wrangels Palais is an example of a Swedish-built Danish warship from the late 17th century. She ran aground while patrolling the seas between Shetland and Iceland as part of a squadron of Danish warships. The squadron was seeking to protect Danish interests, including fishing vessels and merchant ships, from 13 Turkish privateers reported to be operating in the North Sea. Of the 240 sailors on board at the time of loss, 87 were drowned. Other Shetland wrecks with Swedish or Danish connections include the Danish East Indiamen Concordia (lost Dunrossness, 1786) and Wendela (lost Fetlar, 1838), and the Swedish Asiatic Company's Drottningen af Swerige, commonly known as the Queen of Sweden (lost Bressay Sound, 1745). Of these, the Wrangels Palais represents the earliest and most fully recorded example.

Associative characteristics

The surviving archives of the Dutch East India company are extensive and their ships, voyages and cargoes are well-documented, including those of the Kennemerland. The tale of the wreck is commemorated in a rhyme current on Out Skerries:

'The Carmelan frae Amsterdam
Cam on a Maunmas Day
On Stoura Stack she broke her back,
And in the Voe she ca''. (Forster and Higgs, 1973: 292)

Salvage of the Kennemerland by local people began almost immediately after the ship was lost. Most of the valuable cargo (including 5 iron and two bronze guns) was recovered on behalf of the Earl of Morton (the then laird of Shetland) using grapnels and pole hooks. Subsequently, rights to the wreck, which had mistakenly been thought to carry much more coinage or 'specie', were granted by Charles II to the Earl of Kincardine. There is some evidence that the VOC themselves sent a ship to salvage the Kennemerland. During the 18th century, William Irvine, a noted Shetland 'wrack man', and John Lethbridge may have used diving engines to undertake further salvage. The records of archaeological investigations during the period 1971-1987 by Richard Price and others on the Kennemerland have been widely published. This work underpinned the late Keith Muckelroy's ground-breaking theoretical studies on site formation processes, which helped develop the discipline of maritime archaeology worldwide following publication of Muckelroy's seminal work, Maritime Archaeology. Shetland Museums and Archives in Lerwick hold an extensive assemblage of photographs and finds from the Kennemerland. Shetland Museums and Archives also hold facsimiles of a number of contemporary Danish documents relating to the Wrangels Palais, including detailed records of the Court of Enquiry following the wrecking incident. These documents comprise part of the extensive 'Bruce Archive', compiled in the early 20th century by the maritime historian, Robert Stewart Bruce of Symbister. Information from the archaeological surveys undertaken by Strathclyde University Subaqua Club has been published.

Preservation Objective

The preservation objectives for the Out Skerries Historic MPA and the marine historic assets are:

a) to minimise loss of the marine historic assets within the area;
b) to minimise deterioration of site condition of the marine historic assets;
c) to prevent the removal, wholly or partly, of the marine historic assets from within the Out Skerries Historic MPA, except where the Scottish Ministers are satisfied that this is desirable for the purpose of making a significant contribution to the protection of the marine historic assets or to knowledge about marine cultural heritage;
d) to prevent the commercial exploitation of the marine historic assets for trade, speculation or their irretrievable dispersal other than provision of professional archaeological or public access which is consistent with preservation objectives a,b,c and e;
e) to ensure that any disturbance of human remains is avoided except for authorised research and subject to respectful treatment.

Preservation Objective Description

Preservation objectives guide the management of Historic MPAs according to the specific needs of individual areas. Objectives for the Out Skerries Historic MPA are focused around maintaining extent of survival of marine historic assets in situ and maintaining site condition. Additional objectives set out instances where the recovery of marine historic assets (in whole or part) may be acceptable and to restrict commercial exploitation of marine historic assets for trade or speculation. To enable monitoring of progress against these objectives by Historic Environment Scotland, information relating to the survival of marine historic assets and site condition is set out in the table below, based on the results of geophysical surveys undertaken during the 1970s-1996 (various authors), monitoring work by the Archaeological Diving Unit (1996; 2002), Wessex Archaeology (2005) and Shetland Islands Council (McElvogue 2011).

ObjectiveCurrent indicator status and descriptorDetail in relation to baseline position
To maintain the extent of survival of marine historic assets in-situ

Survival <20% - i.e. we estimate <20% extent of survival by comparing the quality and integrity of in-situ remains with what evidence exists relating to the marine historic asset in its original form.

Kennemerland: The wrecking process has left a debris trail from Stoura and Old Man Stacks as far as the isle of Trolsome (a distance of approx. 400m). Along this trail, concentrations of diverse material exist around Stoura and Old Man Stacks, and on a reef within the South Mouth. Documentary sources (1630) indicate that the Kennemerland was 155ft long, 35 ft wide and 17 ft 6 in deep, and armed with 24 cast iron guns, 6 bronze guns and 2 minions. Of these, 8 cannon have been mapped and recorded, all but one of which remain on the seabed (one gun was moved for detailed recording purposes and is reported to lie on the beach close to the lighthouse keepers’ cottages on Grunay). The remainder of the vessel’s complement of guns was probably removed by salvage after the ship was lost or during the 18th century. Six anchors have been recorded around Stoura Stack, of which one may not be from the Kennemerland. Excavation in South Mouth recovered a wide range of artefacts relating to the ship’s armament (e.g. shot, cannon balls and a pewter funnel), equipment (e.g. sounding lead, rope, grindstone, navigation implements), personal possessions of the crew, and cargo (glass bottles, bellarmine flagons, ceramics and brick), fragments of hull sheathing, and wood mixed with other organic materials, possibly representing the contents of the bilges of the ship. Concentrations of brick (possibly as cargo/ballast) were found near Stoura Stack and within South Mouth. Although many finds have been identified and recorded, because the excavation of the wreck was only partial, unexcavated areas of sediment throughout the debris field retain the potential to preserve a wide range of materials and artefacts from the wreck.

Wrangels Palais: Of the 46 guns recorded as being carried aboard, 33 guns have been accounted for on the seabed (of which 2 bronze guns are known to have been recovered in 1990). All but 5 of the surviving guns are located within a rectangular rock basin, measuring approximately 17m x 12m. Some of the guns are partly covered by rocks, stones and boulders that may have fallen into the basin from the cliff above. Other artefacts identified within the rock basin include 177 pieces of iron shot, eroded timber fragments and a possible anchor. It is possible that further material may be buried under rocks. The other 5 guns are located in shallow water (c. 9 m water depth), one in isolation and 4 in a cluster, respectively 7m and c. 30m SW of the main group.

To maintain site condition of marine historic assets

Generally satisfactory but with minor localised problems – i.e. there may be some localised erosion or deterioration affecting up to 15% of an asset. However, this does not constitute serious damage and is acceptable in the circumstances.

Kennemerland: The debris trail for the wreck is scattered across c. 400m of seabed at depths varying from 35m S of Stoura Stack and Old Man Stack, to 1-2m within South Mouth. At the S end, Stoura and Old Man Stacks are exposed skerries where the seabed is characterised by boulders and gulleys and an easterly current prevails. Although the South Mouth site is accorded some protection by the islands of Housay, Bruray, Grunay, Old Man Stack and Ubda Stack, it is exposed to storms through the narrow mouth from the S. The seabed within the S.Mouth is characterised by large boulders, interspersed with gravel filled gulleys. Despite the shallow water depth within the South Mouth, excavations revealed that sediments retain the potential to preserve organic and non-organic archaeological material. Heavy kelp growth carpets the seabed, particularly during summer months. In 1971, the condition of the guns at Old Man's stack (c. 8m water depth) were described as heavily corroded and part 'broken', suggesting natural degradation; those within South Mouth, however, were apparently better preserved.

Wrangels Palais: This wreck lies in 25-28m depth of water at the base of a steep cliff on the S side of the easternmost point of Bound Skerry. This is an exposed, high-energy environment, characterised by bedrock, boulders and stones, shelving in steps to a depth of 42m where the seabed trails off into deeper water. Kelp beds exist from sea-level to approximately 20m water depth but, at the depth of the rectangular basin, divers have observed no 'heavy marine growth'. The condition of the guns, many of which are described as 'partially broken', 'split' or 'worn' may suggest significant natural abrasion. However, observations suggest that the point of Bound Skerry acts to deflect a very strong south-easterly current that runs at 4 knots, only 10m away from the site. Survey tags left on site in 1993 were found loose on the seabed the next season.

Management

Designation of the Out Skerries Historic MPA places a duty on public authorities with functions capable of adversely affecting marine historic assets to carry out those functions in a way that best furthers or, where this is not possible, least hinders the stated preservation objectives. To fulfil this duty, public authorities must consider and implement changes in the way they carry out their functions to deliver benefits for/ minimise adverse effects on the Out Skerries Historic MPA, taking advice from Historic Environment Scotland.

  • When preparing local development plans; marine plans; and fisheries management plans relevant to this location, as well as other programmes, policies and strategies, public authorities must take account of the preservation objectives for the Out Skerries Historic MPA.

  • Competent authorities with responsibilities for issuing authorisation for all developments and licensable activities (for example, through marine licensing; planning permission; issuing of seabed leases) within and outwith the boundaries of the protected area must consider impacts on the preservation objectives for the Out Skerries Historic MPA, taking advice from Historic Environment Scotland. Decisions must also be taken in accordance with the relevant marine plans and policies.

  • Where their functions or acts which they intend to undertake may significantly hinder the achievement of the preservation objectives for this Historic MPA, public authorities are required to notify Historic Environment Scotland. Historic Environment Scotland has 28 days to respond and public authorities must have regard to advice or guidance given by Historic Environment Scotland.


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Operational Advice for the Proposed HMPA

The following advice is intended to enable sea-users and public authorities to prioritise beneficial management of activities that might otherwise hinder the preservation objectives for the Out Skerries Historic MPA. The seabed within this area preserves archaeological remains that represent a finite, non-renewable resource, the survival of which could be affected by a complex interplay of processes originating from sources that may be naturally occurring (e.g. chemical, biological or physical factors) or man-made (Historic Scotland 2012a, 8). Table 2 indicates which key pressures are known currently although there are additional pressures which could hinder the preservation objectives were they to occur.

In summary, the area is considered most vulnerable to the following impacts from man-made operations:

Direct Impacts

Physical damage/loss/alteration of marine historic assets arising a) from collision/abrasion by construction/extraction activities, commercial fishing operations which impact on the seabed (particularly demersal trawling - e.g. scallop dredging), anchoring/mooring of vessels within the known areas where material has been identified; b) from selective removal of artefacts and/or excavation of sediments by diving/archaeological operations within the protected area.

Indirect Impacts

Alteration/loss of marine historic assets arising from any construction/extraction/dumping at sea/commercial installation operations in the vicinity, which might exacerbate the erosion of sediments or result in significant changes to seabed biology/water chemistry within the protected area.

Operations

Historic Scotland's Strategic Heritage Management Team will be pleased to provide detailed operational advice where impacts are anticipated on a case by case basis. The basis for this advice is set out in the table below.

Operations/Activities

Operational advice following Historic MPA designation

Construction/ extraction/ dumping within the protected area

As marine historic assets are considered highly vulnerable to such activities, and as the spatial footprint of the protected area is small, developers and sea-users will normally be advised to plan developments in such a way that they avoid areas where archaeological material is known to exist. Where this is not possible (for example proposals to carry out capital dredging of the South Mouth harbour for ferry access), developers will be expected to demonstrate how impacts on marine historic assets will be minimised, and, where this is not possible, to arrange for appropriate archaeological investigation to take place prior to the commencement of works. There may be cases where the emplacement of scientific monitoring equipment within the area is desirable to support the preservation objectives.

Construction/ extraction/ dumping at sea/operation of commercial installations in the vicinity

Proposals for such activities in the vicinity should carefully assess the likely impacts on hydrodynamic processes and any seabed biology/water chemistry over the protected area and, where appropriate, develop and archaeological mitigation strategy to minimise the potential impacts. It is not anticipated that any shoreline developments would have a significant impact on the setting of this Historic MPA.

Recreational diving, bathing, within the protected area

Responsible recreational diving is encouraged. Divers should feel free to take photographs or to use video during visits, but they mist not recover artefacts, or damage or disturb a marine historic asset. Also, please do not displace sediments or remove weed as these help to maintain the stability of the wreck site. Any shot lines to aid diver access to the site should be carefully placed and not used as mooring lines for a dive vessel. Maintaining good buoyancy control also helps to minimise impacts to the site. Anyone diving within the protected area is encouraged to provide a brief report about their visit to Historic Environment Scotland, to assist in monitoring this important wreck. Local groups might also be encouraged to 'adopt' these wrecks, so that they can play an important role in ongoing monitoring of the site.

 

Scientific and archaeological investigation of marine historic assets within the protected area

Non-intrusive scientific/archaeological survey work is encouraged, together with dissemination of the information and knowledge which results. However, intrusive activities, including archaeological excavation, sediment sampling, and the recovery of objects of historic interest, are all subject to marine licensing: you will need to apply for permission to Marine Scotland Licensing Operations Team (MS-LOT), who will take advice from Historic Environment Scotland as to whether these activities should be permitted (normally subject to conditions).

Boating, vessel traffic, including anchoring and laying of moorings

Boating is generally encouraged providing that no damage or disturbance of marine historic assets occurs. For example, boat owners should avoid the use of anchors within the protected area, except in instances of maritime distress to save life or to secure the safety of a vessel. The laying of moorings should be avoided within the protected area. However, there may be instances where the laying of temporary seabed moorings is desirable to support sustainable access to the site. Where this is the case, care should be taken to place moorings away from the known extent of archaeological remains.

Commercial fisheries

There is no evidence that pelagic/demersal fishing (e.g. scallop dredging) takes place over this site, but it may take place nearby. The use of demersal techniques within the protected area must be avoided as the damage caused is likely to be catastrophic. As there is a risk of snagging creel lines on exposed anchors/ cannon, and potentially of destabilising sediment deposits, the use of creels should also be avoided within the protected area.

References

Bibliography

Published references

Bound, M and Sharpe, T 1995, The wreck of the Danish man-of-war Wrangels Palais (1687) off Bound Skerry in the Out Skerries (Shetland Islands). In Bound, M (ed), The Archaeology of Ships of War, Oswestry, 45-51.

Bound, M and Sharpe, T 1996, 'The wreck of the Danish man-of-war Wrangels Palais (1687) off Bound Skerry in the Out Skerries (Shetland Islands) – a report on the pre-disturbance survey, 1993/1994' Scottish Diver 35.2, 29-35.

Dobbs, C and Price, R A 1991, 'The Kennemerland site: the sixth and seventh seasons, 1984 & 1987, and the identification of five golf clubs', International Journal of Nautical Archaeology (IJNA) 20.2, 111-122.

Foster, W A and Higgs, K B 1973, 'The Kennemerland, 1971: an interim report', IJNA 2.2, 291-300.

Muckelroy, K 1978, Maritime Archaeology Cambridge.

Price, R A and Muckelroy, K 1974, 'The second season of work on the Kennemerland site', 1973, IJNA 3.2, 257-268.

Price, R A and Muckelroy, K 1977, 'The Kennemerland site: the third and fourth seasons, 1974 & 1976', IJNA 6.3, 187-218.

Price, R A and Muckelroy, K 1979, 'The Kennemerland site: the fifth season, 1978', IJNA 8.4, 311-320.

Price, R A, Muckelroy, K and Willies, L 1980, 'The Kennemerland site: a report on the lead ingots', IJNA 9.1, 7-25.

Unpublished reports

Archaeological Diving Unit, report references Kennemerland (96-14; 02-24); Wrangles Palais (067;96013; 02-25) Copies archived with RCAHMS.

McElvogue, D 2011, Wrangels Palais licensee report.

Sharpe, T 1993, General report on the 1993 Wrangels Palais Expedition undertaken by Strathclyde University Subaqua Club. Copy archived with RCAHMS

Sharpe, T 1994 General report on the 1994 Wrangels Palais Expedition undertaken by Strathclyde University Subaqua Club. Copy archived with RCAHMS

Sharpe, T and Bound M, 1996 The wreck of the Danish man-of-war Wrangels Palais (1687) off Bound Skerry in the Out Skerries (Shetland Islands) – 1996 report

Wessex Archaeology, 2006, Designated Site Assessment Kennemerland, Out Skerries, Shetland. Prepared by Wessex Archaeology for Historic Scotland, August 2010. Ref:53111..0311. Copy archived with RCAHMS.

Shipwreck heritage of Shetland, desk-based assessment archaeological report. Prepared by Wessex Archaeology for Historic Scotland, July 2011. Ref:53111.02q-7. Copy archived with Shetland Amenity Trust.

Online resources

Historic Scotland 2012, Guidelines on the Selection, Designation and Management of Historic Marine Protected Areas. Copy available at www.historic-scotland.gov.uk/historic-mpa-guidelines.pdf

Historic Scotland 2012a, Historic Marine Protected Areas, a guide for visitors, investigators and managers – copy available at www.historic-scotland.gov.uk/historic-mpa-leaflet.pdf

Scottish Government, 2010, Making the most of Scotland's seas – copy available at www.scotland.gov.uk/Resource/Doc/308833/0097196.pdf

Wessex Archaeology, 2010, Existing designated historic assets: transition to Historic Marine Protected Areas and identification of biodiversity/geodiversity value. Prepared by Wessex Archaeology for Historic Scotland, August 2010. Ref:73210.04. Copy archived with RCAHMS and available http://lmid1a.rcahms.gov.uk/wp/00/WP000732.pdf

Wessex Archaeology, 2012, Characterising Scotland's marine archaeological resource. Prepared by Wessex Archaeology for Historic Scotland, January 2012. Ref: 76930.04 Copy archived with RCAHMS and available at http://lmid1a.rcahms.gov.uk/wp/00/WP000720.pdf

About Historic Marine Protected Areas

Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designating sites and places at the national level. These designations are Scheduled monuments, Listed buildings, Inventory of gardens and designed landscapes and Inventory of historic battlefields.

Historic marine protected areas are the way that marine historic assets of national importance which survive in Scottish territorial waters are protected by law under Part 5 of the Marine (Scotland) Act 2010.

We advise Marine Scotland on the importance of marine historic assets and the Scottish Ministers decide whether to designate sites. We assess marine historic assets using the selection guidance published in Designation Policy and Selection Guidance (2019)

The information in the historic marine protected area record gives an indication of the national importance of the site(s). It is not a definitive account or a complete description of the site(s).

It is a criminal offence to intentionally or recklessly remove, alter or disturb marine historic assets, or carry out activities which could damage or interfere with a marine historic asset or significantly hinder a protected area's preservation objectives.

The historic marine protected area record provides guidance about what activities can take place at each site.

Planning permission or a marine licence (or both) may be required for carrying out work inside a historic marine protected area. Enquiries about planning permission should be made to the planning authority. Enquiries about marine licences should be made to Marine Scotland's Licensing Operations Team.

Find out more about historic marine protected areas and our other designations at www.historicenvironment.scot/advice-and-support. You can contact us on 0131 668 8914 or at designations@hes.scot.

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