Spotlight on the Newport Ship
Press release issued: 4 February 2004
The Newport Ship, a medieval sailing vessel discovered on the banks of the River Usk in 2002, will be the subject of a public lecture at Bristol University on Monday 9 February.
The Newport Ship, a medieval sailing vessel whose well preserved remains were discovered on the banks of the River Usk in Newport in 2002, will be the subject of a public lecture at Bristol University on Monday 9 February.
The lecture, entitled The Newport Ship in Historical Context, will be given by Dr Joe Flatman, Lecturer in Early Medieval Archaeology at Cardiff University.
Arranged by The Matthew Society, the talk will take place at 7.30pm in the Tyndall Lecture Theatre, HH Wills Physics Lab, Tyndall Avenue. It is free to members of the society and £5 to non-members.
The Newport Ship is believed to have been built around 1465 and is the only extant example of a merchant ship of this era. Initially dubbed ‘the Welsh Mary Rose’, it has been described as a cross between a caravel and a Viking longship, and is in an excellent state of preservation.
The talk will look at how the Newport Ship fits into the chronology of late-medieval vessel construction from the fourteenth to the early sixteenth century. Drawing on the unique archaeological evidence from the ship, it will link this to archaeological discoveries from both before and after the time of the Newport find, particularly the series of medieval vessels in St Peter Port Harbour, Guernsey, and the Mary Rose.
Using archaeological and iconographic evidence, the talk will demonstrate how the Newport Ship represents a unique point in the development of the full-rigged ship.
Dr Joe Flatman is a specialist in medieval vessel technology. Before taking up his Cardiff post, he was Visiting Fellow at the Department of Archaeology at the University of Bristol. His new book, The Illuminated Ark, will be published later this year and he is currently researching aspects of medieval coastal exploitation.
The Matthew and The Matthew Society
The Matthew was the ship that took John Cabot and his crew to the coast of Newfoundland over 500 years ago. Today a replica of the Matthew sits in Bristol harbour and is a popular visitor attraction.
The Matthew Society was founded in 1996 and currently has around 200 members worldwide. It meets monthly between September and May at the Jury's Hotel, Prince Street, Bristol. Its aim is to support the Matthew and keep in touch with people who have an interest in the history of the ship.