Future Plans – FONS and Newport Council’s Vision

The Ship is one of the Europe’s most important pieces of medieval archaeology.  It is also one of the world’s most important pieces of maritime history.  It had to be dismantled in order to rescue it, and over fourteen years of effort have been spent cleaning, recording, conserving and studying it. Once the conservation process is completed, probably in late 2018, the Ship will be re-assembled under the eyes of the public and be displayed in a maritime hall in Newport.
We expect that the process of assembling the ship could be a major tourist and educational attraction if it were carried out in public, and its massive construction will, visually, make for a very exciting and iconic exhibit when completed.

Will the Museum in Friars Walk be the new home of the Newport Ship?

Now that we have settled in to our new home in Queensway Meadows, we are open on a weekly basis (every Friday, Saturday and bank holiday Monday between Easter and the end of October; Saturdays only from Spring half term to mid December), with volunteers manning the Ship Centre and hosting visitors.

Further consignments of saturated timbers have been, and will continue to be sent to York Archaeological Trust for conservation, after which they will be returned to Newport to be stored until they can be re-assembled under the watchful eyes of the public.

In the longer term the Friends will continue to campaign for the Ship to be housed in a new museum in Newport. Such a museum might  also display the other smaller vessels already recovered from the Gwent Levels but currently in storage. During this time we will be presenting the case for a new museum to many interested parties, if you want you can view our business plan here

We believe a new museum will provide a powerful support in the continued regeneration of Newport.  Display of the Ship would be a valuable addition to Newport’s other outstanding historical attractions such as the main Newport Museum, Roman remains at Caerleon and Caerwent, the Transporter Bridge, Tredegar House, St Woolos Cathedral, Fourteen Locks Canal Heritage Centre and Newport Castle.  The process of conserving the timbers should be complete by the end of 2018, so once a new museum is in place, the process of re-assembling the Ship could begin.

Riverfront Theatre auditorium. The Newport Ship was discovered while excavating the orchestra pit (bottom left). Hopefully the Newport Ship will be placed on display nearby.