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Appeal launched to crowdfund Newport Medieval Ship video

24 Jun 2024 2 minute read
An image from the video currently under development.

An appeal has been launched to support the production of a new video examining the origins of the Newport Medieval Ship.

The fifteenth century merchant vessel, measuring over 30 metres in length and capable of carrying around 200 tons of cargo, would have worked the long-distance routes of the Atlantic and Mediterranean.

It was unearthed in the heart of Newport in 2002 when construction work began on a new arts centre.


The ship was brought to Newport for repairs or refit in 1468 or 1469, and archaeologists believe that whilst work was undertaken the cradle supporting the ship collapsed.

The hull was flooded, and the majority of the ship was then taken apart, leaving only the remains of lower hull.

What remains is the largest and most complete section of a 15th-century European ship discovered to date.

In 2023, Scientific analysis of the wood used in the construction of the ship indicates it was built in 1450 in the Basque country.

The same techniques, when applied to the collapsed scaffolding used to hold the ship in place, have narrowed down the time it was wrecked to within a year.

Trading links

Analysis of the artefacts, cargo remnants and plant remains from the ship have also revealed trading links with Portugal.

Writing about the ship last year, Evan Jones, from the University of Bristol, noted: “The Newport Medieval ship represents the final flourish of a shipbuilding tradition that stretched back centuries.

“This involved the construction of a shell, made from overlapping planks, into which a relatively light frame was fitted to provide stability.

“It has more in common with Viking longships than it has with the skeleton-built ships of the early modern period. But the Newport ship is far bigger than Viking vessels. In its heyday it was capable of carrying 160 tuns (about 320,000 pints) of wine in its hold, on a voyage from Bordeaux.”

In 2022 an animated film was produced telling the story of the ships final voyage.

The appeal is to raise money to produce a new video to show in the visitor centre based, on the archaeological research about the origins of the Ship including the 2023 research about the ships’ timbers and construction.

You can donate to the crowdfunder to help make the new animated video here.

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Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
20 days ago

That was very interesting…

One day the remains of a high prowed, heavy oak Veneti trading vessel may be found between the Solent (Hengistbury Head by Sir Barry Cunliffe) round Land’s End to Amlwch engaged in the Tin and Copper trade…

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