A GROUP of fishermen who spend their time unearthing hidden historical gems from the seabed of the Aber Hafren are celebrating after their most recent find. 

The Black Rock Lave Net Fishermen have been searching for historical mysteries and artefacts for many years, and have recently come across a major potential piece of the river's history. 

Whilst walking along the Severn Estuary, known as the Aber Hafren, intertidal zone at low tide to the east of their Black Rock Lave Net Fishing grounds, the team spotted what secretary Martin Morgan described as a "piece of metal" protruding from the rocks, covered in seaweed. 

Mr Morgan recalled: "We pulled the long swathes of weed away, and revealed our find. It was an ancient ship's anchor, measuring around 8ft long. 

"We reckon the anchor must be more than 100 years old, and has been made from wrought iron."

According to the fishermen, the upper part of the anchor is broken, where it would have held the stock, which would have helped the anchor to grip in the sea bed. 

South Wales Argus: The anchor is believed to be 8ft long and more than 100 years oldThe anchor is believed to be 8ft long and more than 100 years old (Image: Black Rock Lave Net Fishermen)

Mr Morgan added: "One can only wonder how and when it was lost, perhaps being driven towards a reef in a terrible gale, dragging the broken anchor. 

"We doubt we will ever know, but we think this find is a real testament to the history of the estuary, and the shipping companies that once used it. 

"It's certainly going to be an excellent piece of Severn Estuary history."

South Wales Argus: The anchor is an excellent piece of the estuary's historyThe anchor is an excellent piece of the estuary's history (Image: Black Rock Lave Net Fishermen)Despite the celebration of such an amazing discovery, the Black Rock Lave Net fishermen have decided not to attempt to fully recover the anchor at the current time. 

According to Mr Morgan, this is due to the location being almost a quarter of a mile off shore, and in a very tidal spot, which could make it difficult to manoeuvre during the high and low tides. 

However, the team are never ones to completely give up. "The recovery might be difficult now, but it's definitely not impossible. One day, perhaps!"