Extrait du Journal Gallois ARGUS .... pour les anglophones !
THE man behind the campaign to save the Newport Ship met historians who shed new light on the cargo she may have brought back from Spain.
Charles Ferris, 61, learnt that medieval vessels like the Newport merchant ship delivered iron ore to no less than 40 forges in the Basque Country during a conference on the subject in Guernica, northern Spain.
In Sunday's meeting, Mr Ferris found out about the iron trade route as he continued his "pilgrimage" to trace the origins of the medieval ship built with timbers from Spain.
Tests carried out on the wreck show her frame came from trees felled 5km west of San Sebastian in the region in 1450.
The Basque connection is further reinforced by the discovery of a barrel fragment from the ship bearing the mark of a Bristol sea merchant known to have imported iron ore from Spain in the 1460s.
Mr Ferris is convinced the ship was built in this region bordering northern Spain and south west France, and traded between the Basque Country and Britain.
Mr Ferris, the founder of the Friends of the Newport Ship and a city councillor, told the Guernica historians: "This is the final piece of jigsaw for me and it's a trip that cannot be bettered."
On Saturday, our crew visited a medieval forge in Muskiz, around 12 miles from Bilbao, which is on the iron trade route.
We toured the facility comprising of a mill, bellows and furnace that smelted the iron ore from mines across the region before being transported by the medieval sea merchants.
We watched in awe as a blacksmith demonstrated how, centuries ago, workers were able to turn the molten metal into everyday objects such as nails, harpoons and anchors.
Tomorrow (Tuesday) our voyage resumes as we head east towards the French border on board the Brokoa ship.