The Wirral in Merseyside, UK has always been a place where historians knew Vikings had once settled, but no one had guessed that the great vessel they had travelled in to get there, was still actually there.
It is thought that a Viking longboat not far off ten feet long and not dissimilar to the famous, Sea Stallion, has been found in the area. Around a 1,000 years old, the boat came to rest under nothing more glamorous than a pub car park.
Local historians have known for quite some time that the Nordic, pig-tail wearing, battle obsessed, race came to settle in the area of the Wirral in the north-west of England so the fact that a boat was found was not at all surprising. What did bring a wry smile to the face was that it was found under a public house car park.
The Railway Inn in Meols has been, rather unknowingly, the resting place for the great Viking ship for around a thousand years, or at least since 1938. It was then when builders found the ship, but were strangely ordered by their boss to cover it up and build on top of it anyway. The old building of the pub had to be moved back meaning the where the old pub once stood, now stands a car park, yet it can't stay there untouched. In true British style, it has got to come up.
From the University of Nottingham, Professor Stephen Harding has decided that this could be one of the greatest UK finds in the world of archaeology for many years. Yet a lot of money will be needed to bring the great beast to the surface.
Now that a fully excavation is desired, funds equalling the extent of that event must be pulled together or the ship will lay there for ever. So far, the vessel was found by teams using ground penetrating radar which has already cost £450 pounds. If the team get the money together, the vessel can be brought to the surface unsuccessfully and displayed in a museum for all to see.
Professor Harding said of the procedure needed to excavate the ship,
"The next stage is the big one. Using the GPR technique only cost £450, but we have to think carefully about what to do next. Although we still don't know what sort of vessel it is, it's very old for sure and its Nordic clinker design, position and location suggests it may be a transport vessel from the Viking settlement period if not long afterwards. Scandinavian influence persisted here through the centuries. It is speculation at the moment, but at least we now know exactly where to look to find out. How it got there is also hard to say. It is some distance from the present coastline and probably the old one too. It might have got to its present position after flooding and sinking into an old marsh."