Visitors have less than one month to see Henry VIII’s Tudor warship, The Mary Rose, before she is withdrawn temporarily from view until 2012. The Mary Rose is one of South East England’s top visitor attractions and over 8 million people have visited her since she was raised from the seabed in 1982.
From 21st September 2009, the Mary Rose will be removed from public view as part of a £35 million heritage project. The ship, together with a recreation of the boat’s missing side, will next be open to the public in 2012, when she will be housed in a brand new boat-shaped museum.
In 2012, it will be possible to visit the new museum and see the final stages of the conservation of the hull before she is revealed in all her glory in 2016. It is believed that the ship will be housed in one of the world’s largest display cases when the museum opens.
Up until 2016, it will be possible to see parts of the conservation process, when visiting. The ship will remain in its current ‘hotbox’ in the centre of the museum until the process is complete, allowing visitors to witness the ongoing wet and dry conservation through new viewing ports from each of the new deck-level galleries. On completion of the air-drying phase, the hotbox enclosure will be removed, allowing visitors to fully appreciate new and dramatic views of the Mary Rose’s original timbers as per the original dream when the Mary Rose was raised from the seabed in 1982.
The existing Mary Rose Museum, which contains over 1,000 original Tudor artefacts, will remain open until 2012. Having been nationally recognised as a ‘Family Friendly Museum’, this attraction is a must-see in its own right.
The restoration project is being partly funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Portsmouth Historic Dockyard is a fantastic place to visit for anyone of any age. An all-inclusive ticket to the Historic Dockyard gives entry to the other historic ships, including HMS Victory, which was immortalised as Nelson''s flagship at the Battle of Trafalgar; the Victorian HMS Warrior 1860; and the Royal Naval Museum as well as the interactive Action Stations and Harbour Tours.