The hull of Henry VIII’s flagship Mary Rose – partly built on the Thames – has gone on show to the public.

In a £39 million project the vessel has been the subject of continuous conservation since being raised from the bed of the Solent in 1982 where she had laid since sinking in 1545 as Henry watched.

Now a new-look Mary Rose Museum at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard provides stunning panoramic views of the ship from nine galleries through floor-to-ceiling glazing on the lower and main decks.    

The hull was first sprayed with a mist of fresh, chilled water and then with a water-soluble wax from 1994 to April 2013 when the Mary Rose entered a stage of controlled air-drying. 

The hull has now reached a stable state within this drying process allowing a completely clear and uninterrupted view. Alongside the gallery are hundreds of artefacts recovered from the wreck – from beer tankards to clothes and shoes and even the skeleton of the ship’s dog.

The temperature and humidity levels are carefully maintained and visitors enter through an airlock to ensure conditions are perfect

Historian David Starkey has described the Mary Rose as “Britain’s Pompeii” presenting the most complete record of life on board in Tudor times.
Helen Bonser-Wilton, Chief Executive of the Mary Rose Trust said: ““The story of the Mary Rose spans almost 500 years and this is a very exciting close to the latest chapter in her history.This is the culmination of decades of hard work by the Mary Rose team.
Sir Peter Luff, Chair of Heritage Lottery Fund, and great supporter of the project said:“Quite simply, the Mary Rose is awe-inspiring.”

  • Mary Rose was built in Portsmouth but fitted out at a shipyard on the Thames and returned there later for a refit.

Link to the Mary Rose website.

Story dated July 19th 2016