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Conference: The World of the Newport Ship, 17-18 July 2014

The Newport Ship is the most important late medieval merchant vessel yet recovered. Built c. 1450 in northern Spain, she foundered at Newport twenty years later while undergoing repairs. Since her discovery in 2002, further investigations have transformed historians’ understanding of fifteenth century ship technology. This cutting-edge conference will bring together maritime archaeologists and historians to explore the ship, consider her significance, and locate the vessel within the commercial world from which she came.

The conference will take place in the Arts Faculty (Lecture Theatre 3) of the University of Bristol, 17 Woodland Rd, over two days. It will consist of eight sessions with papers by experts in the field. We will start by examining the ship itself and then move outwards in a series of broadening rings to examine the wider context of the vessel. A copy of the conference flyer (illustrated below) is available as a pdf (500k). The programme, which is still evolving at this stage, will be along the following lines:

Newport Ship flyer thumbnailThursday 17 July

Session 1: 9.30-11.00: The Archaeology of the Newport Ship

Session 2: 11.30-13.00: Fifteenth Century Shipping


Session 3: 14.00-15.30: Newport and the Severn Sea in the Fifteenth Century

Session 4: 16.00-17.30: The Regional and National Context

Conference dinner at local restaurant

Friday 18 July

Session 1: 9.30-11.00: International Shipping of the Severn Sea in the Fifteenth Century

Session 2: 11.30-13.00: Iberian links, Politics, Shipping and Trade, c.1450-1470


Session 3: 14.00-15.30: Iberia, Northwestern Europe and the Mediterranean

Session 4:16.00-17.30: Roundtable Discussion

We are hoping to limit the cost of attending the conference to a nominal charge of £10, which will cover registration, refreshments and lunch on both days. Attendance of the conference dinner on the Thursday night will be extra.


Dr Evan Jones and Dr Richard Stone (University of Bristol) with support from Toby Jones (Newport Ship) and Nigel Nayling (University of Wales: Trinity Saint David).

If you might be interested in contributing to the programme itself, please contact Dr Evan Jones. Those wishing to register an interest in attending should contact:

Conference sponsors: