The Gun Rocks Project

Background  – a brief history

Some of the original Gun Rocks survey team

The original Gun Rocks Team

Tyneside 114 has had a close association with Gun Rocks since the late 1960’s, when our  Diving Officer (at the time), Mr W.R. Smith (known as Bill), became interested in the history of the cannon and finding out more. Through his enthusiasm, the Gun Rocks Project was born. In 1970 the project was launched, a cannon was raised, ITV filmed a series of news reports on the findings and a report on the findings was produced by Bill SmithClick here to read more….

But questions remained unanswered…. namely what was the origin of the boat, where did all the cannon come from?

In 2010 Andy Hunt Diving Officer (at that time), started up the Gun Rocks Project II to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the initial project. One of the  aims of this project as to try and identify the name of the wreck and to re-map the cannon locations found in the 1970s. Maps were produced and some artifacts were found. Click here to read more….

Recording the cannon

Recording the cannon

Following the Gun Rocks II project, in 2013 Wessex Archaeology (WA) was commissioned by Historic England (HE) (previously English Heritage) to undertake an “Designated Site Assessment ” of the site.  WA and HE worked closely with Tyneside 114 members, to further uncover the secrets of Gun Rocks. A close working relationship which continues to this day. New cannon were found and the new technique of photogrammetry was used. Click here to read more….

As you can see, Tyneside 114’s involvement with Gun Rocks has been ongoing for 46 years now. Nicola Faulks (current Diving Officer) decided to try and sum up all of the work done to date. This resulted in the writing of a report called Gun Rocks Cannon Site. The report won the BSAC Wreck Award 2015. Click here to read more….

Club divers with Wreck Award trophy

BSAC Wreck Award Winners 2015

Finally, as a result of the publicity received from the BSAC Wreck Award, the research continues.

  • What was the name of the wreck?
  • Why do we have cannon from Sweden and England?

But most excitingly, we are raising funds to set up a dive trail, so that divers of all grades can experience the site and find the cannon. For more information please click here to read more….


So where is Gun Rocks?

Well, it is located in a group of islands known as the Farne Islands, off the coast of Northumberland. The closest town is Seahouses, from where you can catch a hard boat or launch a rhib to ride out there. At 8-10 metres deep and dive-able on slack or a flood tide, it remains dive-able for a large portion of the time. It is also relatively well sheltered from the easterly swells, which often prevent diving on our coast.