PARTS of the Newport medieval ship could survive another 500 years thanks to a new piece of equipment which will control temperature and humidity levels.

A new climate control unit has now been commissioned for the Ship Centre which hopes to preserve the ship’s timbers even longer.

Work is currently ongoing to re-assemble the ship back to “all her glory” but the process is expected to take another three years.

The 15th Century ship, which is believed to come from the Basque area, was first unearthed in 2002 after work started to build the Riverfront Theatre on the bank of the river Usk.

The Friends of the Newport Ship, who work to preserve the ship, revealed the news of the new climate control unit on Friday.

The big black box will maintain steady temperature and humidity levels in the fully insulated room where the ship’s timbers are stored.

It means the ship’s planks, frames and other precious artefacts can be kept in their optimum conditions.

So far 30 per cent of the ship’s timbers have been processed, but the rest are currently submerged in a water-based wax solution of poly-ethylene glycol.

They are being processed by the York Archaeological Trust through a freeze-dryer which draws out the water and preserves the internal structure of the wood.

The Friends hope after three years all timbers will be finished and the ship can be put back together.

Phil Cox, chairman of the Friends of the Newport Ship, said: “We know that all the pieces will fit – all the timbers are being re-measured to check for shrinkage as they are returned to us, and we already have our 1/10th scale model to show us where each bit goes.”

The Ship Centre, on Queensway Meadows Industrial Estate, reopens to visitors this Friday, February 12 and will be open every Friday, Saturday and Bank Holiday Monday until the end of October 2016.

For more information please visit their website on