05 July 2013

The "Mary Rose" has a new museum

I remember visiting her 25 years ago; the new museum must be absolutely fabulous.  Some tidbits from the Telegraph -
The half of the ship that survives sits on a frame in a dry dock. Around this, a modern museum has been built. Inside, the visitor stands on a central suspended walkway. To the right, behind windows, is the wreck, as if cut down the middle. To the left, architects have constructed a mirror image, on the decks of which objects can be examined in situ. There are central walkways at three levels...

I have not been so elated by a museum since I first looked into the Pitt-Rivers collection’s wild eccentricities in Oxford. Here at Portsmouth, the beauty of ordinary items impresses: the whole wooden world of a Tudor warship. Here, three feet away, is the 90-gallon cauldron for boiling 500 men’s beef, and the brick casing that held it over the fire, and the very half-burnt logs, caught just as they were extinguished by that inrush of water 468 years ago...
And more details here -
Wildfire. That’s what would have blazed onto enemy decks from the masts of the Mary Rose, the great warship commissioned by King Henry VIII when he came to the throne. It was flung, or possibly shot, using ‘fire arrows’: spears wrapped with a collar of gunpowder and oil that would fuse, burn and explode. We know this because they have one – or three, actually – on display on one of the ‘decks’ of the new £27 million Mary Rose Museum in Portsmouth... ‘They were thrown from the fighting tops, or crows’ nests, like this one – we found two of those.’

...the Mary Rose came out of the sea over 30 years ago and ever since has been sprayed, first with fresh water, later with a water soluble polymer... When they switched off the sprays on April 29 this year, ready for the opening, the great vessel was sitting in a discreet, doughnut-shaped building that takes its place in Portsmouth Historic Dockyard alongside other famous British vessels such as HMS Victory and the 19th century HMS Warrior... The museum claims she is the only 16th century warship on display anywhere in the world...

The 16th-century layer contained so many artefacts perfectly preserved in the airless, silky seabed that the museum now holds the largest collection of Tudor objects in the world.


  1. What a fascinating museum. I'll make a point of visiting it if (when!) I visit the UK.

  2. I live less than 30 minutes away, and will be visiting soon. The buzz in town is great, and we're proud of what they've done with her.


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