Newport Ship wins support from Heritage Lottery Fund

The restoration of the Newport Ship has received a major boost thanks to a Ј799,500 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) .

The 15th Century ship was found in the banks of the River Usk during the construction of the Riverfront theatre and arts centre in 2002. It is the only intact medieval ship in Britain.

Currently in 1,700 timber pieces, the ship may be able to tell archaeologists about the travel, trade and technological innovation of all the maritime nations of Europe and even further afield at the end of the Middle Ages.

The HLF grant will enable a team of nine Professionals to record and analyze the timber remains using state of the art technology over a two year period.This will allow informed decisions to be made about the ship’s original shape and function as well as its future conservation and reconstruction.

The team will look in detail at different ship building technologies which led to the development of ocean going ships and subsequent European expansion in the late 15th Century.

Jennifer Stewart, HLF manager for Wales, said: “This is one of the most important archaeological finds in Wales and it is therefore essential that we support its conservation for future generations.

A meaningful Interpretation of the ship will give us a real insight into our maritime heritage.”

Councillor Bob Bright, leader of the council, said: “With the support of the HLF, we can now look forward to driving forward the conservation project and the unique opportunities that it presents for the people of Newport and Wales.”

While the restoration work continues, it is anticipated that further information on the origins of a skeleton found underneath the ship could soon be revealed.

The remains are of an iron age man, thought to be from 170BC -more than 1500 years older than the ship.