Mary Rose museum opens in Portsmouth
A Ј35m purpose-built museum for Henry VIII’s flagship, the Mary Rose, will be officially opened later in Portsmouth
The 16th Century hull will once again be on display at the Historic Dockyard museum — yards from where the Tudor warship was built 500 years ago. The new museum finally reunites the Mary Rose with many thousands of the 19,000 artefacts found with it. The ship was discovered in 1971 and raised from the seabed of the Solent in 1982.
Faces of some of the crew have been recreated by forensic science experts using skulls found with the wreck. The areas of the ship where they lived and worked, such as the surgeon’s cabin and the gun deck have also been recreated. Up to 500 men and boys died when the ship sank and the new museum has been dedicated to them. A day of events to mark the opening started with the laying of a wreath at the spot where it sank. The Reverend Monsignor Andrew McFadden said, “Today is as much about the men as it is about the ship. Similar prayers would have been said on the Mary Rose. The skeletons represent the spirit of those people who gave their lives on the Mary Rose, and the bell represents a continuation of them and the ship today.”
The Mary Rose Bell was then taken by Naval escort from the wreck site and into the museum. A giant Tudor flag will cover the museum until it is lowered to a fanfare by the band of the Royal Marines. The day-long event will mark the symbolic journey of the ship’s bell as the last artefact to be placed into the new Mary Rose museum ahead of its public opening.
Since it was brought up, the hull has been constantly sprayed with water and wax chemicals, but the jets were turned off last month.