Wednesday April 26th, 2017

Survey: The Longshed Maritime Heritage Centre

Artist’s impression of heritage resource space on mezzanine

The Longshed will provide workshop facilities for boat building and heritage boat restoration projects. The open gallery over the workshop will be a space to explore boat design and construction and how rivers and the sea have influenced people’s lives, from Roman times to the twenty first century – looking from boats in the workshop and along the River Deben to the Thames estuary, North Sea and beyond.   The gallery will be a place to:

  • Watch people involved in the current boat building projects in the workshop and talk to them about what they are doing
  • Find out about tools, design and materials used in boats through hands-on experience
  • Research the stories of people who lived and worked on the river
  • Explore how the challenges and opportunities of travelling, working and trading by water impact on people’s lives
  • Tell the story of boats and the river through words, images and music

We are starting to develop a programme of activities to be based in the Longshed gallery – some ideas are listed below – you can help by taking part in the survey we have set up to collect ideas.

Rivers as roads
Access, trade, cargo, transport, communications, leisure, connections, commerce, traffic control, buoyage.

Afloat over time
Continuity from Anglo-Saxons to the present – Longships, cogs (small cargo boats), spritsail barges, work boats, sailing boats, motor boats, house boats

Science in the shed
interactive explorations, problems solving, team work, lifting and loading, propulsion, navigation, boat design, displacement, materials, flotation, weather, tides

River stories
Events and activities about the rivers and the lands along the river, the boatyards, the pubs, the farms, the houses, the place names and the people.

Take the survey now!

If you would like to find out more about our plans please email

The images below show examples of the sort of interpretation that could be in the Longshed. With one exception, they show interpretation in the H.B. du Pont Preservation Shipyard at Mystic Seaport – the Museum of America and the Sea at Mystic Seaport in Connecticut in 2014 when the last surviving wooden whaling ship, the Charles W. Morgan 1841, was undergoing repair and restoration before her historic 38th Voyage.

Find out more