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Wednesday, 12 April 2017

We Visted the 'Mary Rose' for the Fist Time Yesterday

For us, any trip to Portsmouth where the Mary Rose is located, requires a harbour crossing on the Gosport Ferry, which we always enjoy.

 The weather was excellent so it was up onto the open deck for some extra sight seeing.

 There seemed to be some sort of blockage in the harbour entrance and then I remembered that there is some serious Dredging in progress as the harbour is deepened to allow the UK's New Aircraft Carrier, HMS Queen Elizabeth to enter once her build is completed in Scotland.


 Both of the Isle of Wight are having to wait for the blockage to be cleared. 

 Having arrived at the Dockyard it was into the Costa Café for a Coffee and Panini lunch before setting off to visit the Mary Rose in her new visitors centre.
While there I tried to photograph HMS Warrior head on but someone had parked a modern Red Crane to spoil everyone's photos. Grrrr. 


 With a visit to inspect the plumbing required next we headed for the upper floor of Boathouse 4 which has the most modern loos that we have found on previous visits.

Looking down into the workshop, between the boats one of the many woodworking courses available to book was underway. Everyone seemed to be shaping Canoe Paddles there.   

 Being the Schools Easter Holiday all of the activities were open and in use.
Here these youngsters, strapped in harnesses, are climbing the rigging in a race to see who reached the very top and rings the ships bell located there. It looked great fun.

 I spotted this emblem used by Price Charles on the bow of this Steam Launch only to find that it was actually Queen Victoria's launch used to take her across the Solent to Osbourne House on the Isle of Wight.



The Steam Launch Engine and Funnell

 The 'comfortable' seat.


 Below in the wet dock is this Steam Driven Gun Boat.

 Taking a last look across Boathouse No. 4 one can see the array of boats under repair there.

We finally arrive at the New Modern building containing the Mary Rose exhibition. There is no extra charge for the experience as it is included in the Visitor Ticket cost.

 The Mary Rose, being the pride of Henry VIII's Fleet, we have the obligatory photo with Jacob asking 'Who is this Chap ?'


 Before actually visiting the ship there are some very useful diagrams and this panorama showing how close into the Solent the French Fleet came, apparently burning homes on the Isle of Wight (in the background).

The British Fleet are just leaving Portsmouth Harbour led by the Flagship Mary Rose.
Without trying to become an authority on what actually happened next, on 15th July 1545 apparently the Mary Rose fired off a broadside from the Port (Left) Side. The ship then made a violent turn to pint the Starboard Guns before the Gun Hatches on the Port Side had been closed. Heeling well over a strong wind took her past the point of no return and over she went and immediately sank with all hands bar 34 being lost. 

There’s a common misconception that the Mary Rose sank on her maiden voyage. In fact, she was a successful warship, in the service of Henry VIII  for 34 years, almost the entire duration of his reign, and fought in three wars.



 A Photo Diagram showing how much of the Original Hull remains.

The Ship lay on the Seabed on her Starboard Side just outside of Portsmouth Harbour for hundreds of years gradually rotting away until in 1836 two Wreck Seeking Divers discovered the location of what was left intact and still buried in the mud which had persevered what is left here to view.

The story of how this find was achieved and the painstaking route taken to lift the wreck and to preserve her before putting her on display is another story worth investing in the book.

Story of the Ship / History of the Mary Rose

The Crew of the Mary Rose

What we were about to experience next as we toured through the exhibition was a marvel of presentation features using light and sound to depict the atmosphere aboard the ship during the catastrophe.

The various lighting changes made 'Non Flash photography difficult but I was pleasantly surprised by the outcome. 


Our first view of the ship seen from the Stern

At this time the ship is in semi darkness and these small action videos are played in specific areas of the ship indication what would have been taking place there and then.

Two reconstructions of how the Gun Decks would have looked with salvaged Cannon in place through the Gun Ports.


When the lighting level is raised the shape and depth of the remaining decks is clear to see. Lots of Scaffolding still has to be used to support the weak structure.

Another of the recovered cannons

Looking towards the Bow Section


Looking along the reconstruction of two decks, the upper one showing the Rope Store


The whole section of Hull seen from the Bow End

The Seabed Mud contained many articles which have been recovered. This Sea Chest survived.

Tools used by the Ships Carpenter to make running repairs.


Many of the surviving metalwork items recovered.


A very well preserved Cannon Barrel clearly inscribed with Henry VIII just above the Small Rose.

Some of the items used by the Gunners during battle.

A Diagram showing the two types of Gun on board which needed to be reloaded differently

A Grim Diagram which seems to indicate the best places to cause injury during battle.


The Gun that Identifies The Mary Rose.

The Views from the Bow End of the Ship as we move towards another viewing level.

The only view of the outside of the Hull available, taken though a side window


A Reconstruction of one of the on board Cooking Stoves



More Cooking Items

Various Bowls and Jars used for serving food.

Pursers handle all the financial matters on a cruise ship as well as many administrative tasks.

A Variety of other equipment used.

Our last look at the Hull from the Keel Level at the Stern just before leaving

This last showcase says it all.


On exiting the exhibition we pass that Shore Base Figurehead from HMS Nelson.

Next is Admiral Benbow from HMS Benbow who has become a popular climbing form

The Startled Eyes say it all

A quick visit to the café in the Apprentices museum reveal some items not seen during previous Dockyard Visits. There is far too much to see and experience there on one day.

These old working Amusement Arcade items were a joy to see again.


HMS Andromeda


Aircraft Carrier HMS Hermes

The Royal Yacht Britannia

HMS Victory

Then it was time for a trip on the boats





Heading for the Ferry HMS Warrior provides a lasting memory.

Lots to think about on the way home.

The Dockyard from the Ferry

This last series of photographs were scanned from a copy of the Mary Trust Annual Report given to me by my wife's cousin who receives it as he was the Skipper of the Blue Funnel Steamer that the Divers used during the recovery searched. Blue Funnel Steamers being owned by his father during that time.











I hope that you enjoyed our visit.

Frank