Newport’s medieval ship will mark 20 years since its discovery
MEDIEVAL re-enactors will transport Newport back in time this year to mark 20 years since an astonishing discovery on the banks of the River Usk.
The remains of the Newport Ship – which dates back to the 15th century – were discovered during construction work at the Riverfront Theater in June 2002.
The wooden structure has been carefully excavated and has been the subject of careful conservation work over the years that have followed.
Now, as we approach the 20th anniversary of its discovery, that work continues, with experts from Mary Rose Archaeological Services restoring the ship’s framework.
To date, over 90% of the ship’s timbers have been restored and returned to Newport.
Once the remaining timbers pass through the conservation stage later this year, the organization Friends of Newport Ship (FONS) will begin work on the next stage of the project – the intricate reassembly of the ship.
To mark this anniversary, the project team and FONS are planning a re-enactment event in the center of the ship, with tours and family activities.
There will also be a public lecture on the ship’s history, hosted at the Lysaght Institute by the project’s curator, Dr Toby Jones, on Thursday 12 May at 7pm.
Debbie Harvey, Newport City Council’s Cabinet Member for Culture and Skills, said the restoration work would “ensure this important part of our history is preserved for future generations to enjoy”.
“The 20th anniversary of the discovery of the Newport Ship is a milestone worth celebrating,” she added. “As we continue to carry out preservation work, I am pleased to announce our program of events to mark this anniversary. I hope that as many people as possible will come together and join us in celebrating our remarkable vessel. .”
A spokesman for Friends of Newport Ship said the group’s volunteers were “delighted to put their collective experience into action, to help with another load of preserved ship’s timber from the Mary Rose freeze-drying facility which is being returned to ship’s center for storage”.
They added: “Working with the council team, we look forward to celebrating the wonders of Newport’s diverse maritime heritage on the 20th anniversary of the ship’s discovery.”