timewatch: queen elizabeth's lost guns
Off the rocky coast of the Channel Island of Alderney lies a 400 hundred year old wreck of the only fully armed Elizabethan warship ever found. Timewatch has secured exclusive access to the deep water excavation to learn the secrets of Queen Elizabeth’s mighty Navy.
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Episode InformationCould this ship be part of Sir Frances Drake’s fleet which defended Britain from the Armada, and then lost during a secret mission? The most important shipwreck since the Mary Rose has been discovered. It contains a huge treasure trove of artefacts including muskets, swords, bombs and giant cannons – it is the only fully armed Elizabethan warship ever found. And it also has an extraordinary story… Timewatch has secured exclusive access to this deep water excavation to discover the ship’s true identity and to learn the secrets of Elizabeth’s mighty fleet… 100ft down, and half a mile out to sea, the wreck sits amid the notorious reefs and currents of Alderney. So treacherous are the waters that the ship was first spotted 30 years ago, but was then lost again, disappearing under a mountain of sand. Now it is about to be revealed to the world… They have recovered six cannons, armour, muskets, swords and even ceramic hand grenades designed to spray victims with flaming tar. All of these they are rebuilding and have definite plans to test, highlighting the sophistication of Elizabeth’s force at a time when the survival of the nation was at stake. This includes the world’s earliest complete provenance gun – the high point in artillery science which would not be surpassed for three hundred years.