Wednesday 19th July. 4.00 PM – ‘H’ Stage, Shepperton Studios. Back on our ship today which has had the stern redressed to turn it into the Admiral’s cabin on the Ark Royal.
The Ark Royal was Lord Howard of Effingham’s flag ship during the Spanish Armada campaign and the first of five English (and later British) warships to bear the name. The ship started life quite differently however having originally been built for Walter Raleigh on the Thames at Deptford in 1587.
She was then sold to the Crown for £5000 and the name changed from the original ‘Ark Raleigh’ (sometimes also known as the Bark Raleigh) to the ‘Ark Royal’. It seems that Raleigh knew how to commission a ship and Howard noted that the £5000 was ‘money well given’. The ship survived the Armada and was rebuilt and renamed “Anne Royal’ in 1508 by the new king James I. In this guise she survived until 1636 when she was broken up. No other English ship bore the name for almost another 300 years.