Ian has over 30 years of experience in maritime history research. His most recent projects are:

‘Real Natives’ – A Study of the History of Oyster Fishing in Chichester Harbour

Real Natives’ – A Study of the History of Oyster Fishing in Chichester Harbour, for the Sussex Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority (2020).

This oyster fishery was once the most important industry of its kind in Sussex. The report looks at evidence for oyster fishing in the Harbour as far back as the Roman era, with an in-depth discussion and analysis of the past two centuries. Though Real Natives includes a great deal of data on oyster populations and yields, it also presents a surprising and very human story of a local trade that was deeply affected by oyster ‘piracy’, industrial and class conflict, and environmental change.  Real Natives’, can be downloaded at: https://secure.toolkitfiles.co.uk/clients/34087/sitedata/files/Research/Oyster-History-Ian-Friel.pdf

Alderney Elizabethan Shipwreck

A Question of Identity – Historical Sources and the Alderney Wreck, a report for the Alderney Maritime Trust (2019).

Swash Channel Wreck

Research and writing of a report identifying this important wreck, lost off Poole in Dorset in the 17th century.

First World War oil tankers

Research reports on four vessels, produced for Wessex Archaeology and an external client. The reports looked into the technical evidence for the tankers, their service histories and the circumstances of their loss.

Henry V’s Holy Ghost

Research into the history of this ‘great ship’, one of the four largest vessels in Henry V’s fleet. Ian produced a paper for Historic England on the potential last resting place of this vessel, in the River Hamble in Hampshire. Historic England has commissioned a site study by the National Oceanography Centre and the University of Southampton, which is currently in progress.