UCL News


Exhibition: Secrets of a Thames merchant ship

6 May 2009


Candlestick thamesodyssey.org/galleryindex.html" target="_self">Thames Odyssey exhibition website
UCL Institute of Archaeology

Postgraduate students from the UCL Institute of Archaeology will exhibit their reconstruction work on a sixteenth-century Elizabethan merchant ship between 11-15 May at the institute. 

The ship was discovered by the Port of London Authority (PLA) in 2004 during a dredging operation in the Thames estuary. The ship was launched in 1574 and a number of artefacts were recovered from the wreck site, including a large iron gun, emblazoned with the mark of Thomas Gresham, the famous Tudor merchant and financier.

The artefacts on display reflect the daily life on the ship and contain haunting items, such as a pair of sailor's shoes. The exhibition will unlock the secrets of the ship's final hours and demonstrate whether it was the victim of piracy or simply the treacherous river Thames. 

The exhibition forms part of a five-year research project on the wreck, involving staff, graduate students and external specialists. The work is supported by the PLA and Gresham College. 

As part of the exhibition, there is also an open day at the UCL Institute of Archaeology on 10 May from 10am to 5pm with guided tours, and the opportunity to enjoy the rooftop balcony view over Bloomsbury.

For more information on this story, follow the links at the top of the page.

Images: Candlestick (right) and pewter spoon recovered from the ship.