Armada Shipwrecks

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Armada Shipwrecks

A collection of international importance

Of the 130 Spanish ships that set out from Spain in 1588 to invade England, over 20 of them were wrecked off the North and West coasts of Ireland. National Museums NI has objects from three of these ships.

The Girona which was wrecked at Lacada Point, near the Giant's Causeway, County Antrim. La Trinidad Valencera which ran aground in Kinnagoe Bay, County Donegal - and a small number of objects from the Santa Maria de La Rosa which sank suddenly in Blasket Sound, County Kerry.

The results of the excavation of the Girona were truly spectacular - 414 gold and 789 silver coins and an unparalleled collection of superb gold jewellery. The jewellery includes personally inscribed rings, crosses belong to religious orders and chains of office.

Material from the Trinidad differed in that more organic material survived including textiles - but the most impressive objects were the two massive siege-guns. Cast in 1556 they bare the crest of the Spanish king. Also preserved were several gun carriage wheels, a reminder that the Armada was intent on invading England. Material from the Trinidad is also on display in the Tower Museum in Derry.

All in all, the finds from the Trinadad were a perfect complement to the Girona. Together they present a vivid picture of life on board sixteenth century Spanish warships.

The Museum’s Armada collection is recognised as being of international importance.

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31 items found.
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Composite Chain, Gold with Pearls and Rubies

Composite Chain, Gold with Pearls and Rubies

'One of two elements of a composite chain, each more or less oval in outline, with a central raised square setting, in one of which a ruby survives; o...

Ring

Ring

'Gold ring with badly crushed bezel which had a setting for one central stone and four others, none of which has survived. The hoop is decorated with ...

Silver candlesticks

Silver candlesticks

'Pair of baluster-shaped candlesticks with holders of 28mm in diameter; the bases are missing'. Flanagan, L. 'Ireland's Armada Legacy' (1988) p.132...

CHAIN; Gold chain

CHAIN; Gold chain

'Heavy gold chain consisting of 136 links, 13mm long, of 2mm thick gold wire, butt- jointed; some of the joints are slightly open'. Flanagan, L. 'Irel...

Salamander pendant, Gold and Rubies

Salamander pendant, Gold and Rubies

'Gold pendant in the form of a salamander, with four legs and two wings; the scales, mouth, teeth, eyes and nose are clearly modelled. Of the nine tab...

Necklace or Collar, Gold with Lapis Lazuli and Pearl

Necklace or Collar, Gold with Lapis Lazuli and Pearl

'Necklace or Collar. Eleven of a presumed set of twelve mounts for portrait- cameos of Roman Emperors; six of the blue lapis lazuli portraits survive,...

Ear and tooth pick

Ear and tooth pick

'Combined tooth and ear-pick in the form of a dolphin: the long snout forms the tooth-pick, the flattened tail the ear-pick. The dolphin's nicely mode...

Arquebus stock; ramrod; lead shot

Arquebus stock; ramrod; lead shot

'Complete wooden stock of an arquebus (the lighter of the two forms of hand-gun); with it is its ramrod, 847mm lenght, and the lead ball found in the ...

MOUNT; Gold mount

MOUNT; Gold mount

' Very small frame from the inside of a mount, with little triangular gold teeth.' Flanagan, L. 'Ireland's Armada Legacy' (1988) p.197...

CHAIN; Gold chain

CHAIN; Gold chain

'Simple gold chain of 407 links, each 10mm long, of 2.5mm thick, gold wire, butt-jointed'. Flanagan, L. 'Ireland's Armada Legacy' (1988) p.193...

Jewel of a Knight of Alcantara

Jewel of a Knight of Alcantara

'Cross of the Order of Alcantara. Knight's Cross in the form of a receptacle; the body consists of an oval containing a fretted Cross, each arm termin...

Mount

Mount

'Composite oval mount, consisting of a heavy gold frame, with relief-decoration at the top, bottom and sides, inside which has been soldered a raised ...

Ring

Ring

'Badly crushed gold ring; the bezel, now empty, had a setting for a single stone, the edges with pellet-decoration'. Flanagan, L. 'Ireland's Armada L...

Agnus Dei Reliquary

Agnus Dei Reliquary

'Agnus Dei Reliquary. Gold box in the form of a book; the hinged lid is decorated in relief, with a central area framed by pillars and topped with a p...

Ring

Ring

'Badly crushed gold ring; the crushed bezel had a setting for one large central stone and four smaller; each shoulder also has a setting; none of the ...

Ring

Ring

'Gold ring with crushed bezel divided into four settings, in one of which a diamond survives; each shoulder has three small settings in one of which a...

Cross of a Knight of Santiago de Compostela

Cross of a Knight of Santiago de Compostela

'Oval frame containing a fretted Cross in the form of a sword with the hilt in the form of a inverted heart, the arms treminating in the fleurs-de-lys...

Cameo, Necklace or Collar, Gold with Lapis Lazuli and Pearl

Cameo, Necklace or Collar, Gold with Lapis Lazuli and Pearl

One of a set of 12 lapis lazuli Cameos of Roman Emperors, set in Gold mounted with pearls. Remarkably this cameo was found many years after the origi...

Figure from cross

Figure from cross

'Badly abraded figure of Christ; the two arms are missing and the gilding survives only on the chest and the sides of the legs'. Flanagan, L. 'Ireland...

Cross of the Knights of Malta

Cross of the Knights of Malta

'Cross of the order of St John, Gold 'Maltese' Cross, each arm divided into two points; at the top is a suspension loop carrying a spiral of gold wire...

TAPERSTICK; Silver taper-stick

TAPERSTICK; Silver taper-stick

Silver taper-stick, 'lacking the holder and with a hollow threaded projection for attachment to the base now missing'. Flanagan, L. 'Ireland's Armada...

Ring

Ring

'Gold ring with rectangular bezel on which is mounted a relief figure of a Salamander; each shoulder of the bezel has a small human head'. From Flanag...

Ring, Gold

Ring, Gold

'Heavy gold ring with a circular bezel on which are the letters IHS (the Sacred Monogram), surmounted by a cross. Beneath the monogram is a single nai...

SPOUT; Silver spout

SPOUT; Silver spout

'Spout from a jug cast in the form of a grotesque human mask with luxuriant beard'. Flanagan, L. 'Ireland's Armada Legacy' (1988) p.129...

Perfume flask; scent dropper

Perfume flask; scent dropper

'Small pear-shaped scent-bottle with short neck and flat top with an opening 9mm in diameter; only about two-thirds survives; and scent dropper - a sm...

Astrolabe

Astrolabe

The astrolabe was a circular, bronze instrument with graduations in degrees marked round the circle. An arm, or alidade, pivoted in the centre of two ...

Ring, Gold

Ring, Gold

'Small gold ring with one terminal in the form of a hand holding a heart, the other a buckle; it is inscribed 'No tengo mas que dar te' (I have nothin...

Ring, Gold

Ring, Gold

'Large gold ring with a rectangular bezel and setting for a gem-stone no longer present. It is inscribed Madame De Champagney MDXXIIII (1524). It was ...

Pipe : Portion of a Boatswain's pipe

Pipe : Portion of a Boatswain's pipe

'3 Fragments of a Boatswain's pipe, the mouth-piece and part of the decoration deficient; the surviving fragments include the sounding chamber' Flana...

Lid of an Altar cruet

Lid of an Altar cruet

'A flat circular lid, decorated on top with concentric circles. On the top is an 'A' in a circle; the A is for Acqua (Water) and the lid that of an Al...

Chain

Chain

'Length of fine gold chain composed of links 4mm long; each link passes through 4 others'. Flanagan, L. 'Ireland's Armada Legacy' (1988) p.193...

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