Mary Rose On Full View After Portsmouth Museum Revamp

19 July 2016, 11:29

Mary Rose unveiled Portsmouth

34 years after it was raised from the Solent, the new-look Mary Rose has been revealed for the first time in Portsmouth.

The timbers of the Tudor Warship have finally finished being preserved at a cost of more than £5 million. It's now fully on display next to a glass balcony.

The museum reopens to the public on Wednesday 20 July.

For the first time in 23 years visitors will breathe the same air as the Mary Rose. The new-look Mary Rose Museum provides panoramic views of the ship from nine galleries through floor-to-ceiling glazing on the lower and main decks. On the upper deck visitors enter the Weston Ship Hall via an airlock and are separated from the ship only by a glass balcony.

The Mary Rose has been undergoing continuous conservation since she was raised in 1982. 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, which means all the black drying ducts, which provided the environment and conditions around the ship, have been removed giving a completely clear and uninterrupted view.

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. From the 20th July visitors will have stunning panoramic views of the ship from all nine galleries. This is the culmination of decades of hard work by the Mary Rose team and we can’t wait to share this stunning new experience with everyone."

Sir Peter Luff, Chair of Heritage Lottery Fund, and great supporter of the project said:

“Quite simply, the Mary Rose is awe-inspiring. Over the years since her discovery and, in 1982, her subsequent raising from the sea bed to her display in this wonderful museum, each chapter of her life has intrigued and thrilled in equal measure. 

"After decades of hard work, this final part of the conservation jigsaw brings the Mary Rose back into clear focus and spectacular context. To so many a huge debt of gratitude is owed; particularly to those whose vision, dedication and skill have made this vision a reality; and to the National Lottery players who enabled HLF to make grants of £26 million to this remarkable evocation of our national maritime heritage.”

The story of The Mary Rose in numbers:

• 1510 – the year the Mary Rose was built.
• 600 trees were used to build her.
• 1545 – the year the Mary Rose sunk, on the 19th July during the 3rd French War.
• 500 men on board, only 35 survived.
• 5 foot 7 inches was the average height of a crew member.
• The Mary Rose sank to the bottom of the Solent lying on the seabed at a 60° angle.
• 1971 - the year the Mary Rose site was discovered and excavation begun.
• 27,831 dives made to the Mary Rose during the modern excavation project.
• 22,710 hours of marine archeological excavation of the seabed.
• 437 years the Mary Rose spent underwater.
• 1982 – the year the Mary Rose was raised from the seabed.
• 60 million people worldwide watched this event.
The Mary Rose raising in 1982, image © The Mary Rose Trust
For further information and images please contact Golden2 Consulting:
Lucy Barry, Imogen Prus,
• 19,000 artefacts have been recovered from the site so far including:
• 6,600 arrow bits.
• 9 barrels containing bones of fully-grown cattle
• 1 full skeleton of a dog aged between 18 months and 2 years old. He goes by the
name of Hatch.
• 100 tons of water extracted from the Hull and its environment over the last 3 years
• The Mary Rose has received 9 million visitors since she was first displayed in 1983

(Photos: Mary Rose Museum)