AMs call on heritage chiefs to preserve Newport maritime ‘treasure’

AMs call on heritage chiefs to preserve Newport maritime ‘treasure’

RECONSTRUCTION: The three-masted, two-decked reconstruction of the Newport Ship

The Newport Medieval Ship curators have discovered another deck on the vessel from computer generated drawings peiced together by other timbers found. Pictured is a digital construction pictured with the extra deck. (5676772)

The Newport Medieval Ship curators have discovered another deck on the vessel from computer generated drawings peiced together by other timbers found. Pictured left is curator Toby Jones with Pat Tanner and a set of new computer drawings of the ship. (56

The Newport Medieval Ship curators have discovered another deck on the vessel from computer generated drawings peiced together by other timbers found. Pictured left is curator Toby Jones with Pat Tanner and a set of new computer drawings of the ship. (56

The Newport Medieval Ship curators have discovered another deck on the vessel from computer generated drawings peiced together by other timbers found. Pictured left is Pat Tanner and Toby Jones with a floor board from the ship which have a 1:10 scaled re

The Newport Medieval Ship curators have discovered another deck on the vessel from computer generated drawings peiced together by other timbers found. Pictured is Pat Tanner with a 1:10 scaled replica piece of timber to help reconstruct the ship digitall

SUBMITTED PIC.NEWPORT SHIP. (1607616)

First published in News

AMs are calling on council chiefs and the Welsh Government to find a permanent home for the Medieval Newport Ship as research indicated for the first time it was a two-decker capable of transatlantic crossings.

They urged Newport council and the Welsh Government to pull together to turn the wreck of the 15th century merchant vessel likened to a maritime “treasure” into a major tourist attraction for the city.

They spoke out after experts concluded the 115ft long, three-mast ship from the time of Columbus had not one, but two main decks, plus additional levels called a sterncastle and a forecastle.

The maritime experts believe the ship built with timbers from the Basque region was 36ft high from the keel to the sterncastle and overall including the main mast up to 80ft.

The timbers of the ship excavated at the site of the Riverfront Theatre in 2002 are currently stored at a unit on Maesglas Industrial Estate.

However, the unit’s lease will run out this autumn and no permanent venue has been found to preserve it.

William Graham, Conservative AM for South Wales East, said: “We knew it was an immense treasure and this new discovery confirms how important this vessel is in maritime history.

“Newport should be fighting to retain this treasure and display it adequately.”

Lindsay Whittle, Plaid Cymru AM for South Wales East, added: “This is really exciting and fascinating news and once again highlights the importance of ensuring the permanent future of this ship.

“While public money is tight it is important that all public bodies – including Newport council and Welsh Government – pull together and work towards making this wonderful medieval ship a major attraction for tourists. This ship needs and deserves a permanent home in Newport.”

Maritime experts used the “orphan timbers” which were not attached to the main structure of the wreck to create a new model of the vessel.

Nigel Nayling, 53, a maritime archaeologist at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David, said: “It is another very significant step in the research of the vessel.

“Now we have an image which is archeologically credible and the most likely and accurate we are ever likely to get of the Newport Ship.”

Plans to open a museum for the ship at the Newport Centre were discussed last year but are now understood to have fallen through. The Argus was told by the chairman of the Friends of the Ship in February that one estimate for a museum would be around £30 million.

Conservative Newport Cllr Charles Ferris, 61, of the Friends of the Newport Ship, said : “What is needed in the medium term is a suitable place to store the timbers which is accessible to the public to maintain the ship’s profile and public interest in the project.

“This new study of the ship’s timbers reinforces the significance of the vessel, the only surviving ship from the time of Columbus, and quite capable of making a transatlantic crossing.”

A council spokeswoman said: “Newport City Council recognises the historical significance of the ship as well as its national and international importance.

“However, it still has to deal with austerity measures and is exploring a range of options for permanent display, including the possibility of a trust taking over this responsibility.

“In the meantime, the council is committed to completing the conservation of the ship timbers and has already entered into a contract with York Archaeology Trust to freeze-dry the timbers.

“The project is moving out of its current base in Maesglas later this year when the lease ends and the council is finalising options for suitable storage.”

• A Newport Ship open day takes place today [April 26] at Unit 22 on the Maesglas Estate off Greenwich Road between 11am and 4pm.

Comments (11)

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8:49am Sat 26 Apr 14

Adrian Williams says...

I've said it before and I'll say it again - if it was found in Cardiff Bay , the Welsh Assembly would be besides themselves with excitement and frothing at the mouth to throw money at it. The reality is anyone outside Cardiff can go to helll in a hand cart. Fact.
I've said it before and I'll say it again - if it was found in Cardiff Bay , the Welsh Assembly would be besides themselves with excitement and frothing at the mouth to throw money at it. The reality is anyone outside Cardiff can go to helll in a hand cart. Fact. Adrian Williams
  • Score: 31

9:08am Sat 26 Apr 14

scraptheWAG says...

Adrian Williams wrote:
I've said it before and I'll say it again - if it was found in Cardiff Bay , the Welsh Assembly would be besides themselves with excitement and frothing at the mouth to throw money at it. The reality is anyone outside Cardiff can go to helll in a hand cart. Fact.
i was just about to make this exact comment - the WAG will not spend a penny outside of cardiff - and just think if they found it in cardiff with welsh language on the side they would be heaping money at it
[quote][p][bold]Adrian Williams[/bold] wrote: I've said it before and I'll say it again - if it was found in Cardiff Bay , the Welsh Assembly would be besides themselves with excitement and frothing at the mouth to throw money at it. The reality is anyone outside Cardiff can go to helll in a hand cart. Fact.[/p][/quote]i was just about to make this exact comment - the WAG will not spend a penny outside of cardiff - and just think if they found it in cardiff with welsh language on the side they would be heaping money at it scraptheWAG
  • Score: 6

9:13am Sat 26 Apr 14

Frankfurt says...

It's now clear, if it wasn't before, that this ship is of national and maybe international importance. It shouldn't be left to Newport Council to finance its preservation. We can't afford it with the tight squeeze on spending.Threaten to abandon it and see what happens.
It's now clear, if it wasn't before, that this ship is of national and maybe international importance. It shouldn't be left to Newport Council to finance its preservation. We can't afford it with the tight squeeze on spending.Threaten to abandon it and see what happens. Frankfurt
  • Score: 25

9:57am Sat 26 Apr 14

regaturn says...

As a Newport rate payer this pile of logs has no interest to me at all,couldn't we just give it back to the Spanish,after all they dumped it on us.
As a Newport rate payer this pile of logs has no interest to me at all,couldn't we just give it back to the Spanish,after all they dumped it on us. regaturn
  • Score: -25

1:07pm Sat 26 Apr 14

b3talover says...

Frankfurt wrote:
It's now clear, if it wasn't before, that this ship is of national and maybe international importance. It shouldn't be left to Newport Council to finance its preservation. We can't afford it with the tight squeeze on spending.Threaten to abandon it and see what happens.
I totally agree. Newport Council do not have the expertise to manage a project of this importance. You only have to look at the current cityscape in Newport to understand why. It has to be managed by professionals.
[quote][p][bold]Frankfurt[/bold] wrote: It's now clear, if it wasn't before, that this ship is of national and maybe international importance. It shouldn't be left to Newport Council to finance its preservation. We can't afford it with the tight squeeze on spending.Threaten to abandon it and see what happens.[/p][/quote]I totally agree. Newport Council do not have the expertise to manage a project of this importance. You only have to look at the current cityscape in Newport to understand why. It has to be managed by professionals. b3talover
  • Score: 4

1:09pm Sat 26 Apr 14

b3talover says...

regaturn wrote:
As a Newport rate payer this pile of logs has no interest to me at all,couldn't we just give it back to the Spanish,after all they dumped it on us.
Classic internet troll. I'm sure one of your many personas will make a trip to the message board to "agree" with you soon.
[quote][p][bold]regaturn[/bold] wrote: As a Newport rate payer this pile of logs has no interest to me at all,couldn't we just give it back to the Spanish,after all they dumped it on us.[/p][/quote]Classic internet troll. I'm sure one of your many personas will make a trip to the message board to "agree" with you soon. b3talover
  • Score: 12

5:07pm Sat 26 Apr 14

Limestonecowboy says...

Looks like John Cobots' Matthew.
Looks like John Cobots' Matthew. Limestonecowboy
  • Score: 0

9:26am Sun 27 Apr 14

Katie Re-Registered says...

If they built something really quirky and unique to house it - such as a giant glass bottle - then the initial expense of this might really pay off in the long run making it a world famous tourist attraction which would mean that every tourist coach would make a stop at Newport each time to view it?
If they built something really quirky and unique to house it - such as a giant glass bottle - then the initial expense of this might really pay off in the long run making it a world famous tourist attraction which would mean that every tourist coach would make a stop at Newport each time to view it? Katie Re-Registered
  • Score: 5

2:37pm Sun 27 Apr 14

bluebanana says...

I cant think of anywhere in the world where tourists flock specifically to see a reassembled skeleton of an old ship. Maybe that means Newport will have the monopoly on old ship tourist attractions and rake in the tourism cash? Or maybe it means the reason there aren't other such 'attractions' anywhere else is because there is no demand for it?

We're all potential tourists. If this ship was found in Barnstaple and was put on display, how many of us would go there to see it? Not many, I bet. Something like this will only appeal to the people from where it was found so hailing it as a tourist attraction will raise everyone's expectations, and ultimately lead to disappointment. Give it to a maritime museum where it can be displayed properly and admired by people who will appreciate it.
I cant think of anywhere in the world where tourists flock specifically to see a reassembled skeleton of an old ship. Maybe that means Newport will have the monopoly on old ship tourist attractions and rake in the tourism cash? Or maybe it means the reason there aren't other such 'attractions' anywhere else is because there is no demand for it? We're all potential tourists. If this ship was found in Barnstaple and was put on display, how many of us would go there to see it? Not many, I bet. Something like this will only appeal to the people from where it was found so hailing it as a tourist attraction will raise everyone's expectations, and ultimately lead to disappointment. Give it to a maritime museum where it can be displayed properly and admired by people who will appreciate it. bluebanana
  • Score: 0

6:54pm Sun 27 Apr 14

scraptheWAG says...

bluebanana wrote:
I cant think of anywhere in the world where tourists flock specifically to see a reassembled skeleton of an old ship. Maybe that means Newport will have the monopoly on old ship tourist attractions and rake in the tourism cash? Or maybe it means the reason there aren't other such 'attractions' anywhere else is because there is no demand for it?

We're all potential tourists. If this ship was found in Barnstaple and was put on display, how many of us would go there to see it? Not many, I bet. Something like this will only appeal to the people from where it was found so hailing it as a tourist attraction will raise everyone's expectations, and ultimately lead to disappointment. Give it to a maritime museum where it can be displayed properly and admired by people who will appreciate it.
look at the web site it is just a few pieces of wood you would not even think it was a ship in a town thats as run down as newport the money could go else where
[quote][p][bold]bluebanana[/bold] wrote: I cant think of anywhere in the world where tourists flock specifically to see a reassembled skeleton of an old ship. Maybe that means Newport will have the monopoly on old ship tourist attractions and rake in the tourism cash? Or maybe it means the reason there aren't other such 'attractions' anywhere else is because there is no demand for it? We're all potential tourists. If this ship was found in Barnstaple and was put on display, how many of us would go there to see it? Not many, I bet. Something like this will only appeal to the people from where it was found so hailing it as a tourist attraction will raise everyone's expectations, and ultimately lead to disappointment. Give it to a maritime museum where it can be displayed properly and admired by people who will appreciate it.[/p][/quote]look at the web site it is just a few pieces of wood you would not even think it was a ship in a town thats as run down as newport the money could go else where scraptheWAG
  • Score: -2

8:34am Tue 29 Apr 14

newportlover says...

scraptheWAG wrote:
bluebanana wrote:
I cant think of anywhere in the world where tourists flock specifically to see a reassembled skeleton of an old ship. Maybe that means Newport will have the monopoly on old ship tourist attractions and rake in the tourism cash? Or maybe it means the reason there aren't other such 'attractions' anywhere else is because there is no demand for it?

We're all potential tourists. If this ship was found in Barnstaple and was put on display, how many of us would go there to see it? Not many, I bet. Something like this will only appeal to the people from where it was found so hailing it as a tourist attraction will raise everyone's expectations, and ultimately lead to disappointment. Give it to a maritime museum where it can be displayed properly and admired by people who will appreciate it.
look at the web site it is just a few pieces of wood you would not even think it was a ship in a town thats as run down as newport the money could go else where
The Vasa museum in Stockholm has 1 million visitors a year to look at their
17th century ship.Anyone who has actually been to see the ship know that although its just planks now , they have no money to do anything else. I am from Newport and would love to see my money go towards something like preserving history, if the finds of the ship or in Caerleon were anywhere else we would be a major tourist attraction.
[quote][p][bold]scraptheWAG[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]bluebanana[/bold] wrote: I cant think of anywhere in the world where tourists flock specifically to see a reassembled skeleton of an old ship. Maybe that means Newport will have the monopoly on old ship tourist attractions and rake in the tourism cash? Or maybe it means the reason there aren't other such 'attractions' anywhere else is because there is no demand for it? We're all potential tourists. If this ship was found in Barnstaple and was put on display, how many of us would go there to see it? Not many, I bet. Something like this will only appeal to the people from where it was found so hailing it as a tourist attraction will raise everyone's expectations, and ultimately lead to disappointment. Give it to a maritime museum where it can be displayed properly and admired by people who will appreciate it.[/p][/quote]look at the web site it is just a few pieces of wood you would not even think it was a ship in a town thats as run down as newport the money could go else where[/p][/quote]The Vasa museum in Stockholm has 1 million visitors a year to look at their 17th century ship.Anyone who has actually been to see the ship know that although its just planks now , they have no money to do anything else. I am from Newport and would love to see my money go towards something like preserving history, if the finds of the ship or in Caerleon were anywhere else we would be a major tourist attraction. newportlover
  • Score: 1

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