Books on the Matthew of Bristol

Books on the Matthew of Bristol

All of our publications help to raise much needed funds for the continued maintenance of the ship. They are all available on board at a special price that no other book store can beat!

The Matthew of Bristol

This is the story of the modern Matthew – one of the most iconic symbols of Bristol’s age of discovery, and of its trading and seafaring heritage. She’s a faithful representation of the ship used by John Cabot when he discovered Newfoundland in 1497.

Built by Bristol shipwrights to mark the 500th anniversary of Cabot’s discovery, in 1997 she re-enacted the original voyage across the North Atlantic. On this journey, the Matthew followed the same course as John Cabot did in 1497; she carried the same number of crew and she took the same time to complete the crossing.

On arrival at Bonavista on June 24, 1997, the Matthew was greeted by Queen Elizabeth II and the Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, as well as thousands upon thousands of Canadian well-wishers. With John Cabot being at the very heart of the country’s foundation, the Matthew is as well-loved in Canada as she is in Bristol.

This is her story – who had the idea to build her? How was she designed and built? What was it like to sail the North Atlantic in a tiny wooden ship and what does she do now? These and many more questions are answered in the Matthew of Bristol.

Published 2017 by Bristol Books

This book is also available to buy on the ship.

Cabot and Bristol's Age of Discovery

Cabot and Bristol's Age of Discovery: The Bristol Discovery Voyages 1480-1508

John Cabot's voyage to North America in 1497, on the Matthew of Bristol, has long been famous. But who was Cabot? Why did he come to Bristol? And what did he achieve? In this book, the two leading historians of the Bristol discovery voyages draw on their recent research and new discoveries to tell the story of the voyages of exploration launched from Bristol at this time. The Venetian Zuan Chabotto (John Cabot), lies at the heart of this story. But his three expeditions are set in the context of the discovery enterprises funded and led by Bristol's merchants over many decades. The book is written for the general reader and is richly illustrated to bring the fruits of the University of Bristol's acclaimed Cabot Project to the wider public.

This book is also available to buy on the ship.


The replica of John Cabot's Square-rigged caravel in which he discovered his 'New Founde Landes' - A voyage from the past into the future.

Published ahead of her atlantic Voyage in 1997, this short book covers the design and construction of the modern Matthew. 

This booklet is only available on the ship.