Once I was a clever boy learning the arts of Oxford... is a quotation from the verses written by Bishop Richard Fleming (c.1385-1431) for his tomb in Lincoln Cathedral. Fleming, the founder of Lincoln College in Oxford, is the subject of my research for a D. Phil., and, like me, a son of the West Riding. I have remarked in the past that I have a deeply meaningful on-going relationship with a dead fifteenth century bishop... it was Fleming who, in effect, enabled me to come to Oxford and to learn its arts, and for that I am immensely grateful.

Thursday, 19 January 2023

Reassembling the Newport Ship

The BBC News website has today an interesting article about the reassembly of the pieces of the Newport Ship now that they have been conserved having been recovered.

I have posted previously about the ship which was discovered in 2002 during building work in  Newport which revealed substantial remains of the vessel which had gone aground and been abandoned in a creek during repairs and refitting.

Built about 1449 in the Basque country it appears to have been employed in carrying barrels as part of the wine trade. The ship founded in 1468 or 1469, and it has been suggested that it might have been involved in or with Warwick the Kingmaker’s fleet in those years as political tensions rose in England. 

As a preserved ship it is being hailed as a fifteenth century discovery comparable to the sixteenth century Mary Rose or the seventeenth century Vasa. The article points out its significance as a survivor from a crucial stage in the development of ships able to undertake not just trading and coastal military operations but also long distance and deep sea voyages to the Indies and the Americas. The vessel has also yielded something like a thousand artefacts which can offer an insight into mid-fifteenth century life.

The illustrated article can be read at Newport Ship: Medieval vessel is 'world's largest 3D puzzle'

This has a series of links to other articles, which also have further links, on the same website about the discovery and conservation of the ship.  Amongst these Newport Ship could be Wales' answer to the Mary Rose from 2020 is particularly useful as an introduction to the ship, its history and its place both in maritime history and in the modern world of heritage presentation. For Newport and its region this is a discovery with very considerable potential for the future.

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