A new museum dedicated to Henry VIII’s flagship The Mary Rose – which once sailed the Thames - has opened in Portsmouth..

The museum is built around the remains of the warship’s hull, raised from the bed of the Solent thirty years ago.

And it includes an astounding collection of some of the 19,000 artefacts recovered from the wreck, most of them in remarkable condition after nearly 500 years.

The Mary Rose was built at Portsmouth but sailed to the Thames in 1511 to be fitted out at Deptford. She sank as the king looked on during a battle with the French in 1545 off Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight.

Then and now

Only 35 of the 500 men on board survived. The ship sank immediately and was quickly buried in silt which preserved the starboard half of the ship and its contents.It has resulted in a remarkable snapshot of life aboard a Tudor warship.

John Lippiett, chief executive of the Mary Rose Trust, said: "We are rewriting history and learning new things about Tudor life.

“The new museum marks a new and exciting chapter in the history of the Mary Rose, providing an astonishing resource for the world to learn about the Tudors and a centre of excellence for maritime archaeology and conservation.”

The £27 million museum, opened on May 31st,  is built on several levels enabling visitors to walk past the remains of the hull on one side with artefacts on the other. The exhibits , even including the skeleton of Hatch, the ship's dog, are displayed to give  an impression of how the decks would have looked moments before the ship sank.

Conservation work on the hull continues and is expected to last another five years.


The captain's collection of pewter

Main deck guns

Longbows recovered

Tudor musical instruments
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