Matthew of Bristol
Princes Wharf (alongside M Shed)
Somerset BS1 4RN
Take a trip back in time to before America was discovered – set sail on the recreated 15th century ship Matthew of Brisrol. Over five hundred years ago, Italian navigator, John Cabot, left Bristol in search of Japan. Instead of Japan he found what is now known as Canada. Landfall was made on Newfoundland on 24th June 1497.
Cabot had intended to sail from Bristol directly westward to Japan, not knowing that the Americas extended so far north and barred his path. It is said that Cabot therefore was the original discoverer of North America, not Christopher Columbus.
Replica of 'Matthew'
A voyage on the Matthew, be it a cruise around the Floating Harbour or an ‘offshore’ sailing, will transport the tourist back to Cabot’s era. As no design records have been found, the Matthew is representative of the type of ship that it is thought Cabot would have used. However, the original Matthew’s tonnage is known as well as the approximate dates of the voyage and that it carried a crew of 18 in addition to Cabot himself.
From this data and records of ships from before and after the Matthew, a fairly true to the period, full sized replica has been made. However, to comply with modern conditions, the replica Matthew has radar, satellite communication, global positioning and an engine.
In 1997, the Matthew replica recreated Cabot’s 1497 voyage to Newfoundland, carrying the same number of crew as on the original voyage of discovery.
Plan Your Visit
Accommodation - Search & Book through Booking.com here:
Excursions on offer range from trips around Bristol Harbour or under the Clifton Suspension Bridge to much longer sailing trips. For details Web: Matthew of Bristol/ trips
For a Visit: Free - but donations are always welcome.
As the Matthew is a recreation of a 15th century sailing ship, as far as is known, there are no special arrangements for disabled visitors. If you are able to walk a short distance with assistance, the crew will help with boarding. The toilet is located on the lower deck and is accessible via a short ladder with hand holds.
Contact & further Information
+44 (0)1179 276 868
The Matthew of Bristol is moored alongside M Shed on Princes Wharf. This is a 5/10 minute walk from the City Centre or a 20 minute walk from Bristol Temple Meads Railway Station. All trips leave from the mooring.
Google Map - Matthew of Bristol