John McRae, who discovered the boat in 1938, told the story to his family. Before he died in 1991, his son asked him to describe the proportions of what he had seen, which he turned into a sketch. He sent the details to archaeologists at Liverpool University, who put them on record. When the pub's owner sought planning permission for a new patio, details of the buried boat emerged. Stephen Harding, an expert on the Viking settlement which once covered much of the Wirral peninsula organised a radar scan of the area which revealed a "boat-shaped anomaly". It is buried in waterlogged blue clay a medium , which preserves wood and which ensured the survival of the few Viking vessels found in Norway.
Dr Knut Paasche, of the University of Oslo, has examined the scan and believes the vessel may well be a "six faering", a six-oared boat which could carry 12 people. If this is the case then it will be the first intact Viking boat found in Britain. Examples have previously unearthed at Balladoole on the Isle of Man and Sanday in Orkney, but all that was left of these vessels were imprints in sand and some weaponry
The Wirral was an independent Viking mini-state in the 10th century. Many Viking place names remain, including Thingwall, the name of the parliament., Kirby and Pensby.
I daresay some wag somewhere will make a comment about Anglo-Saxon scallies nicking the oars.....