A quest is about to kick off for the 600-year-old wreckage of the Holigost , an eminent ship of Henry V’s armada. The ship is regarded to be set stored in the mud of the River Hamble, close to Southampton in Hampshire.
Great England, which will commandeer the chase, arranged to employ an amalgamation of sonar, aerial imaging, drones and dendrochronology to unearth and probe into the lost ship. Once exhumed, the wreckage will be unconditionally probed and recorded, and its site will be marked under the Protection of Wrecks Act 1973 to debar meddling with ancient priceless material.
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The Holigost is potrayed as “a major part of Henry V’s war machine, playing a key role in the two battles that broke French naval power and enabled Henry to conquer France in the early 15th century.”
Remodelled from a procured Spanish ship named the Santa Clara, the Holigost was added to the royal armada in 1415 and was used at the Duke of Bedford’s flagship in the battle of Harfleur in 1416, during the Hundred Years War. Named in honour of the Holy Trinity, the Holigost was one of the biggest ships in Henry’s navy, suppressed only by the vast 1,400 ton Grace Dieu, which was also discovered in the sludge of the Hamble in the 1930s.
The Holigost was a lone pillar, lap-jointed vessel spanning over 30 metres in expanse and more than 12 metres vast. With the ability to carry a maximum of 760 tons, she could be crewed by between 99 and 199 sailors, and was also utilized to lift huge numbers of soldiers to war. Reports indicate that she may have been the first English vessel to be mended underwater, revealing that a ‘dyver’ named Davy Owen brought off work on her in 1423. The final appearance of the naval vessel was in records made between 1447 and 1452.
Wreckage Sighting and Identification
The wreckage was first identified by Dr. Ian Friel in a skyview photograph of the Hamble while he was employed at Archaeological Research Centre at the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich. He linked his sighting with reports on the Holigost being cached at a ‘medieval breaker’s yard’, and later moved into the site, where he searched for and discovered evidence of a firm object deep in the mud. Dr Friel drew Historic England’s attention to the discovery, and more information as regards his inquisition can be gotten in his latest book, Henry V’s Navy.
Friel told The Guardian that “the Holigost was never as spectacular as the Grace Dieu , but in some ways it is more important — an identifiable medieval ship, that fought in known engagements, would be an incredibly rare thing to find anywhere in the world.”