Old, Old Wooden Ship Discovered in Hampshire, And it May be One of Henry V's Finest

By Aatif Sulleyman on at

A UK historian reckons he’s discovered the Holigost, one of King Henry V’s most important warships.

Dr Ian Friel says he first spotted the outline of what may or may not turn out to be the grand old ship 30 years ago in an aerial photograph of the River Hamble in Hampshire, though to date, he’s never managed to get his hands on enough funding to launch a full-scale investigation. However, he says a mini excursion involving a dinghy full of archaeologists armed with a few poles, proved enough to convince him this was a lead worth following up.

The Holigost was one of four ‘great ships’ built commissioned by Henry V, and was a key weapon during England’s Hundred Years War against France. It carried a crew of around 200 sailors, as well as a large number of soldiers. The find has been greeted with huge excitement in the world of archaeology, and we're now going to use drones and sonar to discover the truth.

"In my opinion, further research leading to the rediscovery of the Holigost would be even more important than the identification of the Grace Dieu [which, incidentally, lies nearby] in the 1930s,” said Dr Friel. "The Holigost fought in two of the most significant naval battles of the Hundred Years War, battles that opened the way for the English conquest of northern France."

No pressure for Friel, who'll no doubt be getting more than his fair share of wedgies if his theory turns out to be wrong.

Image credit: Wooden Shipwreck via Shutterstock