It was probably in 1630 or 1631 that a large merchant ship, sailing between the Low Countries and the tropics, was wrecked on the edge of the Hook Sands at the entrance to Poole Harbour. How she came to be wrecked we don’t know but it seems that the vessel was intact enough to allow the salvagers to remove much of her cargo and some of her cannon. The ship sank on to the mud and was forgotten for four centuries. Then, in 1990 a dredger disturbed some of her timbers. After a brief excavation, the site was largely ignored until its rediscovery by a Wessex Archaeology survey in 2004 which led to the present Bournemouth University excavation. Now that parts of the wreck and some artefacts have been brought to the surface and put on display in Poole Museum, it is interesting to investigate what Poole was like 400 years ago when these objects last saw the light of day.