The Newhaven Heritage Centre is recognised as a Scottish registered charity No SC044837.
The Great Michael was a carrack of the Royal Scottish Navy. A carrack is a large sailing man-
James IV, who ordered the ship to be built, was ambitious to build a powerful Scottish Navy and the Michael, as it was properly called, was to be the biggest and most heavily armed warship of its age. When launched in 1511, she was the largest warship in Europe, with twice the original displacement of her English contemporary Mary Rose which was launched in the same year. In fact, the whole of Christopher Columbus fleet that sailed to the New World could fit inside the hull.
The undertaking was reputed to have used all the best oak that was in Fife (with the exception of the forest around Falkland Palace used for hunting), as well as timber from Norway and France as well as the best wrights from Scotland and France and other craftsmen from Flanders, Holland and Spain.
Lindsay of Pitscottie gave an account of its building at the time:-
Sir Andrew Wood was her first principal captain, but it seems that the Great Michael was never a success. In all probability she was too heavy and cumbersome, and shortly after King James IV was killed at the Battle of Flodden in 1513 she was sold to France.