Henry VIII’s favourite warship Mary Rose fully revealed

Years of painstaking work on the Mary Rose's hull have now concluded Credit: The Mary Rose Trust
The Mary Rose Museum at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard reopens on Wednesday 20 July after a six-month closure. This latest stage of development has been supported with £3million from HLF.

For the first time in 23 years, visitors will be able to breathe the same air as the Mary Rose.

Views of the ship are now available from all nine galleries thanks to floor-to-ceiling glazing on the lower and main decks. On the upper deck visitors enter the Weston Ship Hall through an airlock with a glass balcony separating them from the ship itself.  

A Tudor time capsule

A unique Tudor time capsule, the Mary Rose has undergone continuous conservation since it was raised in 1982. The hull was first sprayed with a mist of fresh chilled water and then with a water-soluble wax - it has now reached a stable state within this drying process.

“Quite simply, the Mary Rose is awe-inspiring.”Sir Peter Luff, Chair of HLF

Sir Peter Luff, Chair of HLF, said: “Quite simply, the Mary Rose is awe-inspiring. 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 £26m to this remarkable evocation of our national maritime heritage.”

Helen Bonser-Wilton, Chief Executive of the Mary Rose Trust, added: “The story of the Mary Rose spans almost 500 years and this is a very exciting close to the latest chapter in her history.”

Mary Rose in numbers

  • 1510 Mary Rose built
  • 600 trees used
  • 1545 Mary Rose sunk
  • 500 men on board, 35 survived
  • 1971 Mary Rose site discovered
  • 1982 Mary Rose raised from seabed
  • 100 tons of water extracted from hull and surroundings 
  • 9m - visitors received since Mary Rose first displayed in 1983
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