Supporting The Matthew

Supporting The Matthew

The Matthew is a wholly not-for-profit charity – all money raised goes directly to maintaining the ship so that people can continue to visit her and learn about her rich history, old and new.

We couldn’t do this without the support we receive from our crew and the public. Read more about the aims of the charity below.

Here’s how you can help preserve this unique piece of Bristol and international heritage:


The Matthew is free to visit when she’s moored at the quayside next to the MShed and our crew will happily talk to you about the ship and answer any questions you have. There is a collection box by the mast as you enter and leave the ship and all donations are very gratefully received. We think that over the years we’ve had coins and notes from every country in the world!

You can also donate here.


The Matthew literally depends on its volunteers – our fantastic crew to give up their spare time to act as guides, crew for our trips and carry out maintenance work to keep her shipshape and looking great. 

If you think you’d like to get involved then please contact the office at or call us on 0117 927 6868

Book with us

If you choose us as your celebration venue or simply join us for one of our very popular trips, you will be making a direct contribution to the support of The Matthew and the maintenance of an internationally significant part of Bristol’s maritime heritage. Along with the volunteers and the crew, our commercial income will help to preserve the ship for future generations.

In addition, our Sea Shanty singers the Barnacle Buoys donate their entire fee to the South West Children’s Hospice and the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) – so by booking the Barnies for your party or joining one of our Sea Shanty Fish and Chip trips you are directly supporting three very worthy local and maritime causes.

Be imaginative!

We’re always open to suggestions as to how people and businesses can help us out, either through sponsorship or shared events – the National Trust have even donated a spare mast from the Tyntesfield estate and are very kindly storing it for us for when we eventually need it!  If you have any ideas then please get in touch so we can talk further.

The Aims of the Charity

(1) to acquire, repair, fit out, maintain, enhance and preserve the replica medieval caravel known as “The Matthew” as a ship of historic interest and to place the vessel on display alongside a berth, quay, dock or wharf accessible to the public;
(2) to provide educational and training facilities on “The Matthew” while berthed or on voyages for persons of all ages and capabilities by the preservation, operation and charter of “The Matthew” as a seaworthy vessel;
(3) to advance education in 
(a) the local and national history and heritage associated with “The Matthew”, the explorer John Cabot and the exploration and settlement of the New World, including Newfoundland and Labrador;
(b) maritime history and archaeology;
(c) shipbuilding and nautical construction skills; and 
(d) seamanship, sailing skills and seafaring crafts