In Medieval times, the Cinque Port of Sandwich was a bustling seaport for ships and troops crossing the English Channel and then sailing on return to London. It was a mustering base for the 100 years’ war between England and France. There would always have been a large number of ships moored by the Quay, most of them would have been cogs.
The cog was a single mast, round bottom vessel that was built to be a merchant ship but, at times of war, converted into a fighting ship. The castles were added fore and aft and the long bow archers would create a formidable fire power.
It’s hard to believe that there is no example of a medieval cog on display anywhere in England. Our project is to create a replica, a faithful reconstruction of what a medium sized 50ft long cog with a 40 ft mast would have looked like. We have bought a seaworthy, solid wooden hull built with traditional methods. We will add the castles, then the mast, sail and rigging and moor it on the river close to the Medieval Centre. It will look most impressive and add something quite special to the Quay side.
This exciting project is now well under way. The hull has been brought from Plymouth to Dover Docks, and renovation has started. We will bring it to sandwich just as soon as we can, when there will be a great opportunity for volunteers to help us work on it and turn it into a life sized cog, to be called the Nicholas.