FOR the first time, Newport’s Medieval ship has been recreated as it would have looked when sailing the seas more than 500 years ago.

Irish shipwright Pat Tanner examined the ship over a six-month period, making drawings in painstaking detail of what she would once have looked like.

During his work on the ship he came to the conclusion that the ship may be the earliest of its kind in the world found with a transom stern.

Mr Tanner, 44, said: "Normally (ships of that time) would be the same shape at the front and the back. The earliest example of a European ship would have been 100 years later.

"It’s quite a significant boat. There’s been nothing that size and that old found in the UK before."

The new diagrams show that the ship would have been 35.6 metres (100 feet) long, with a displacement of 206,690kg.

Marks from a Bristol merchant who imported iron ore and wine from Spain may give a clue to the ship’s past cargo.

Charles Ferris, of Friends of the Newport Ship, said: "What an impressive ship she must have been. She could have carried as much as 200 tons of cargo.

"It just dawns on you how big the ship was. She was massive, certainly capable of a transatlantic crossing.

Mr Ferris added it was important to preserve the ship: "We live in Newport: what could be more central to our identity than the port? Here we have a ship from a seminal moment in history - when we realised the world was round, and Europe reached out and touched the other continents, for good or for evil."

Timber matches show the ship was probably made in the Basque region in around 1450. Repairs made with UK timber show she would then have been moored in Britain, with her final voyage in around 1468.

The ship was found during construction of the Riverfront Theatre on the bank of the Usk in 2002.

Toby Jones, curator of the Newport Medieval Ship, said work would continue on 3D models and diagrams with the help of the drawings: "There’s an incredible level of detail. We’re putting every nail back into the reconstruction. Imagine being able to walk along and see every nail, every piece of wood, and take each piece of wood away and look behind it. It’s never really been done before and it’s really exciting.

"It’s ten years’ worth of data but the pay-off is finally coming because we’re able to make the public understand how amazing the ship was."

Mr Tanner said he would return to the ship to try and fill in any missing puzzle pieces. As parts of the front and back of the boat have been lost, there had to be a degree of guesswork in those areas.

Friends of the Newport Ship now hope to get the diagrams made into a poster or print to use as a fundraiser.