Bowling Towards the Armada

Dymphna Byrne looks forward to the 400th anniversary of the Spanish Armada

There is a great deal going on in Armada Year. Alan Wilson, who dives with the Port Rush Sub-Aqua Club, and who once found a small gold cross from the Girona, may find one of the cannon he feels sure are still in the cold Atlantic. The Girona was a heavily laden galleas that went down off Lacada Point in October 1588. Most of the finds from the wreck, and from two other Spanish ships, the Santa Maria de la Rose and La Trinidad Valencara, that went down off the Irish coast, belong to the Ulster Museum, Belfast. They include some spectacular jewellery which will be part of the National Maritime Museum's great Armada exhibition to be held from April 20th – September 4th.

Some 10,000 items were recovered from the Girona by the Belgian nautical archaeologist Robert Stenuit. The jewellery is an unparalleled Renaissance collection, according to Laurence Flanagan, Keeper of Antiquities at the Ulster Museum. 'The Girona was part of an invasion force', he said. 'The noblemen on board intended to shut victoriously through the streets of London dressed in all their finery.’

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