Tudor fun at the Mary Rose

By Louise Acford Published: 24 October 2001

Left: visitors will be blowing, plucking and fiddling at the Mary Rose Museum in Portsmouth at half term.

This weekend (October 27-28) Kit and Kat, Tudor re-enactors, will be playing traditional instruments. Visitors will be encouraged to blow, pluck and fiddle on replica medieval instruments such as Tabors, Shawms and Fiddles.

The museum has a great collection of originals all salvaged from the famous Tudor warship, the Mary Rose.

Right: section through the ship.

Left, conservators in action.

Aspiring buccaneers can enjoy a bit of swash buckling during the pirate themed activities happening every day next week (October 29 - November 2) at the museum. They can make their own pirate hat or design a personal Jolly Roger - me hearties!

Activities take place throughout the summer and during all busy periods, all activities cost no more than the price of entry to the museum. A Tudor crafts weekend closes the half term week with demonstrations of Tudor Cutlers' art.

Right: the ship is sprayed twenty four hours per day with a special chemical solution.

'We're aiming to give added value to the visit and bring the collection to life' says Jacquie Shaw from the museum.

The museum is run by the Mary Rose Trust who are currently celebrating the successful preservation of shipwreck relics by the Mary Rose Archaeological Society, who are also owned by the Trust. The relics were salvaged from William Dampier's HMS Roebuck.

Left: Geoff Fairhurst, Ascension Island Administrator looks at the Roebuck artefacts after conservation at Mary Rose Archaeological Services.

HMS Roebuck sank off Ascension Island in 1701 and the discovery has enabled the charting of Dampier's voyage when he visited Shark Island and several of the East Indies isles.

Right: the relics discovered include an inscribed bronze Royal Navy bell, ceramic shards originally thought to have come from Indonesia, and a giant clam shell.

'The bell was badly corroded' explained Dr Mark Jones, Conservation Director for Mary Rose Archaeological Services: 'but we have managed to stabilise it. We are very excited to be working with such significant relics and securing this contract illustrates the type of work the Mary Rose now undertake internationally'

Roebuck went down during the reign of William III, and so the Ministry of Defence has jurisdiction over the relics.

Now the relics are conserved the Ministry of Defence needs to find a home for them, and as yet no one is quite sure where that will be.

Mary Rose Museum
Mary Rose Trust
College Road
HM Naval Base
PO1 3LXEngland

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