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Last Updated: Wednesday, 10 September, 2003, 13:42 GMT 14:42 UK
Conservation site found for ship
The timbers are being stored in tanks
Hundreds of pieces of timber from the ship have been recovered
A medieval ship is being transported to a secret location to allow a conservation programme to begin in earnest.

The 15th Century vessel was discovered in the banks of the River Usk in Newport by workers building a new arts centre.

Around 1,700 timbers of the boat were excavated and have been in storage at a building at Corus' Llanwern site.

But now the conservation team has secured a warehouse in an undisclosed spot near the centre of Newport to carry out a 10-year reconstruction scheme.

Detailed examinations of the remains of the boat will be undertaken and catalogued by experts as part of the work.

Sixteen storage tanks are being set up in the new location which will be filled with tap water to preserve the timbers during the conservation process.

And Newport Council have promised that a series of open days will be made available for people to see what is going on at the site in the future.

Charles Barker, head of Mary Rose Archaeological Services, which is leading the conservation says that during the process, the history behind the ship will be uncovered.

Charles Barker
Charles Barker is overseeing the conservation of the ship

"There is a lot of research going on at the moment - where the ship came from, whether in fact it was Portuguese or Spanish or English?" he said.

Aristocrats

"And there are all sorts of historical connections with various aristocrats and all of that is fascinating.

"But what I'm really interested in is about the men who sailed it and how they lived and where they travelled, and all of that we can find out from the material that is already in the room.

"There aren't that many ships like this and certainly not of this age that have been put on display.

"There are a handful in Europe - there are some in Germany, some in Denmark and Holland.

"This is something really very special and really there is nothing like this in Britain," he added.

Ron McCormick, for the Friends of Newport Ship group said the opening of the new conservation centre was a step forward.

"It is absolutely fantastic and we are now moving in the right direction," he said.

"We are now hoping that they will consider opening up the centre to the public to observe the conservation work as it goes on," he added.

At the end of the conservation project, the ship is expected to be put on display in the basement of the new arts centre.


SEE ALSO:
Attack on ship rescue 'folly'
20 Aug 03  |  South East Wales
Medieval ship: conservation plans
16 Jun 03  |  South East Wales
Final fears for ship rescue
22 Apr 03  |  Wales
Mary Rose experts to raise ship
04 Apr 03  |  Wales


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