Researchers in the UK have identified the wreck of a Dutch warship that sank after a battle in the English Channel more than 350 years ago, Report informs referring to the Metro newspaper.

The wreck, which lies 32m (105ft) under water, was discovered by divers in 2019 and initially called the ‘unknown wreck off Eastbourne’.

It has now been identified as the warship Klein Hollandia, which was built in 1656.

The wreck was discovered by Eastbourne dive operator David Ronnan and then reported to Historic England.

The Klein Hollandia, which was owned by the Admiralty of Rotterdam, was involved in all major battles in the second Anglo-Dutch war (1665-1667), a Historic England spokesman said.

In 1672, the ship was part of the squadron escorting the Smyrna fleet while sailing from the Mediterranean into the English Channel, en-route to the Netherlands.

Passing the Isle of Wight, the fleet was attacked by an English squadron under Admiral Holmes, resulting in the Klein Hollandia being damaged and its commander killed.

The Klein Hollandia sank shortly afterwards, with both English and Dutch sailors on board.

The shipwerck was granted the highest level of protection under the Protection of Wrecks Act 1973, meaning only licensed divers were allowed to dive to the wreck site.

The marble tiles found on the site came from the Apuan Alps quarries near Carrara in Italy and were preserved by Historic England archaeological conservators.

Much of the wooden hull was found, together with cannons, Italian marble tiles and pieces of Italian pottery.