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the Mary rose museum, portsmouth

July 20th 2016


The Mary Rose Museum has reopened following a nine-month, £5.4 million development that now gives visitors the best view of the ship for 471 years and properly reunites her with the thousands of extraordinary artifacts found aboard.

Long and Partners Commissioning Consultancy have provided Commissioning Management services for the M&E Contractor, FARR for the refurbishment of the Mary Rose Ship Hall exhibition gallery.

The Mary Rose sank on July 19, 1545 with the loss of nearly 500 men. In 1971 the remains were discovered on the seabed, the starboard half preserved by the silt bed. She was raised in 1982 and in the course of nearly 30,000 dives archaeologists salvaged some 19,000 artefacts. The timbers of the ship, which is more than 100ft long, were so fragile that they needed to be sprayed constantly from the moment they were exposed to air - initially with fresh water and then with a solution of chemical wax. After the sprays were turned off in 2013 the ship was enclosed and dried in a "hotbox". The conservation process continues in a climatically controlled environment preserved by air locks. But now she's sturdy enough to be displayed without obstruction, to her best advantage.

The ship, with her non-existent port side, resembles a cut-away model and the new viewing galleries align with and mirror the decks, with clear lines of sight to all the deck levels. New showcases display the artefacts that correspond to the relevant decks and sections - cannons and their wooden carriages, cannonballs, carpentry tools, lamps and so on - and the whole experience is brought to life by audiovisual "vignettes" of the Mary Rose's crew going about their business on that fateful July morning.