Mary Rose Museum to re-open in 2016 with "best ever", "unrestricted" views of ship

By Richard Moss | 25 November 2015 | Updated: 13 June 2016

Entry onto the upper deck through an air lock and unrivalled views of the hull are promised when the Mary Rose Museum re-opens in July 2016

a photo of of the hull of the Mary Rose in Portsmouth
The hull of the Mary Rose drying out at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard© Mary Rose Trust
Ever since its dramatic recovery from the silt of the Solent in 1982 the journey of the Mary Rose has been one shrouded in mists, pipes and plastic. But now the carcass of Henry VIII’s warship is finally nearing the end of its 34-year voyage towards becoming a stunning and stable museum exibit.

The Mary Rose Trust at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard this week announced details of a new display that promises an “extraordinary transformation in the visitor experience” at the Mary Rose Museum.

Opening to the public on July 19 2016, the walls currently separating visitors from the ship will be replaced with glazing to provide unrestricted views of the hull “from bow to stern” in all nine galleries and on all three levels of the museum, which opened in 2013 to house both the ship and its wealth of artefacts.

Visitors are also promised a feature that will allow them to  "share the same space" as the wreck of the Mary Rose, entering the upper deck through an air lock that reveals the “full splendour and magnitude” of the Tudor Warship.

a long panoramic photo showing pipelines running along the length of the Mary Rose hull
© Mary Rose Trust
The only 16th century warship on display in the world, the Mary Rose was Henry VIII’s favourite warship, but it sunk as it engaged French vessels during the Battle of the Solent in 1545.

Through a mammoth effort it was recovered from the Solent seabed in 1982. Quite apart from the impressive remains of the hull, the volume and scale of the treasures found in the shipwreck have offered invaluable insight into the Tudor period.

In April 2013 the Mary Rose entered a stage of controlled air-drying within the newly opened Mary Rose Museum - a phase that conservators now say has stabilised the hull allowing drying ducts to be removed.

a photo of pipework and scaffolding
© Mary Rose Trust
Helen Bonser-Wilton, the Chief Executive of the Mary Rose Trust, said the latest phase in the conservation and display of the ship presented “an extraordinary opportunity to turn the ‘wreck’ of the Mary Rose back into the living ship that Henry VIII knew and loved.”

link to 'Treasures of the Sea: Ashmolean to show ancient archaeology rescued from the deep' article showing four Roman stone heads
The museum has welcomed more than one million visitors since its opening. "The unrivalled views of the hull from all the galleries will provide an amazing visitor experience and a compelling reason to return", said Bonser-Wilton.

In order for the work to be carried out the main museum will close to visitors on November 30, with the reopening scheduled for summer 2016, when a new-look visitor route on HMS Victory and a blockbuster Battle of Jutland exhibition will also open at the Portsmouth Historic site.

Attractions at the dockyard - including HMS Victory, the National Museum of the Royal Navy, Action Stations and HMS Warrior 1860 - will remain open during the improvements. And with an entry ticket guaranteeing entry for one year, visitors to the site will be able to return for free when the new museum opens. 

The New Mary Rose Museum opens to visitors on July 19 2016


a photo of pipelines running alongside the timbers of the Mary Rose
© Mary Rose Trust
What do you think? Leave a comment below.

You might also like

A magical glimpse into the Tudor imagination: Lost library of John Dee to be revealed

Natural History Museum to open new Human Evolution Gallery

Two Temple Place Winter Exhibition to explore Beauty and the Body in Ancient Egypt
Latest comment: >Make a comment
Hi Dave, we too are awaiting with interest the confirmation of the official opening date and will update and report as soon as we know.
>See all comments
More on the venues and organisations we've mentioned:
  • Back to top
  • | Print this article
  • | Email this article
  • | Bookmark and Share
    Back to article
    Your comment:
    DISCLAIMER: Reader comments posted at www.culture24.org.uk are the opinion of the comment writer, not Culture24. Culture24 reserves the right to withdraw or withhold from publication any comments that are deemed to be hearsay or potentially libellous, or make false or unsubstantiated allegations or are deemed to be spam or unrelated to the article at which they are posted.