Have we found King Henry V’s great ship the Holigost?

Heritage Calling

A historic shipwreck discovered in a ‘medieval breaker’s yard’ in Hampshire is likely to be the remains of 600-year old warship, the Holigost. But what do we know about it?

Dr Ian Friel is a historian and expert advisor to Historic England.The Holigost was one of four famous vessels known as the ‘great ships’, the biggest built in medieval England. These impressive warships were a symbol of royal power, built specifically to open the way for an English invasion of France. They were the personal property of King Henry V and the closest thing he had to a state navy. Completed between 1415 and 1420 these ships were the Trinity Royal, the Jesus, the Grace Dieu and the Holigost; their names bear witness to Henry’s personal devotion to the Holy Trinity.

The wreck thought to be the Holigost has been found alongside the Grace Dieu

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