A 1,000-year-old Viking longship may have been discovered buried under a pub car park, archaeologists said yesterday.

Experts used radar technology to map the location of what they believe could be one of Britain's most significant archaeological finds.

The technology has been used to trace the outline of an object which matches the scale and shape of a longship, possibly from the time Vikings settled in Meols, on the Wirral peninsular in Merseyside.

Meols is known to have one of Britain's best preserved Viking settlements, buried deep beneath the village and nearby coastal defences.

The vessel is thought to lie beneath 6ft to 10ft (2m to 3m) of waterlogged clay under the nearby Railway Inn.

Viking expert Professor Stephen Harding, of the University of Nottingham, used Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) equipment to pinpoint the ship's whereabouts.

He is now seeking funds to pay for a major archaeological dig to excavate the site. He believes the ship could be carefully removed and exhibited in a museum.