An Elizabethan shipwreck off Alderney in the Channel Islands that I wrote about back in September 2006 is being excavated to recover a cannon and other items.
Great guns on Alderney! It has taken over 400 years but soon the Tower of London is going to get some of its guns back. On May 25, archaeologists will begin work on the recovery of cannon from a sunken Elizabethan ship that went down off the coast of Alderney in the Channel Islands in 1592. The Duke of York is behind the work that aims to conserve, replicate and test-fire the weapons found on this important wreck.
Excavation director Mensun Bound of St Peter’s College, Oxford, says, “We are not just bringing up cannon, but also muskets, grenades, swords, rapiers, body armour and helmets. This was a ship that was supplying an English army fighting in France to prevent a second Armada-style invasion by Spain.”
The full press release is here. Conservation work on the recovered items will be done at the Tower of London and people will be able to watch the process. Neat!
And the other follow-up has to do with remains of Henry VII’s chapel found at Greenwich which I wrote about here and here back in January 2006.
Designed by Christopher Wren, the Old Royal Naval College has played a key role in both the history of Greenwich and Britain.
A Royal Palace once stood on the site. Henry VIII and his daughters Mary and Elizabeth were born there, and it was one of the King’s favourite places. In 1694, a Royal Charter saw it turned into a hospital for sick seamen – the first of whom arrived to the grand building in 1705. In the following years, illustrious architects including Hawksmoor and Vanbrugh completed Wren’s design.
Now, a new £5.7m centre will tell the story of the site from these days through to its use as the Royal Naval College, which moved out in 1998.
A Heritage Lottery Fund grant of £1.9 million towards the total cost has just given the go-ahead for The Greenwich Foundation, which is behind the project, to proceed with the creation of the centre.
The centre will include a display of evocative objects from the 18th century, including items discovered during excavations of the palace, and architect’s models and trial pieces from the design of the hospital. Greenwich armour from the Royal Armouries will be on show, together with objects from the collections of the National Maritime Museum and the Museum of London.
Henry VIII’s Royal Chapel will also be reconstructed, with its tiled floor uncovered in 2005.
Although the story above calls it “Henry VIII’s Chapel” (which is technically true), the original articles on the discovery call it “Henry VII’s Chapel”. I just feel I have to stand up for one of the Tudors who tends to get overshadowed by Henry VIII (and Wives) and Elizabeth I. 🙂
Here’s a link to the Discover Greenwich page at the Old Royal Naval College website. You can download a PDF there with a lot of information on their plans.