‘Ringing the Changes’: Mary Rose Museum to re-open in 2016 with unrestricted views of the ship

‘Ringing the Changes’: Mary Rose Museum to re-open in 2016 with unrestricted views of the ship

24 November 2015

This November the Mary Rose will embark upon the next stage in her long and remarkable history.

This exciting chapter of the Mary Rose Museum will see an extraordinary transformation in visitor experience. The walls that currently separate 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. For the first time since she was raised from the Solent in 1982 visitors will also be able to share the same space as the Mary Rose, entering the upper deck through an air lock, allowing visitors to experience the full splendour and magnitude of the Mary Rose.


In order for this work to be carried out the main museum will close to visitors on 30th November 2015 after the Victorian Festival of Christmas (special tickets required.)

During closure the entrance pavilion, café and shop will remain open. There will be a small display of artefacts, original and replicas, along with a new, short film narrated by Dan Snow for visitors to see before the museum re-opens in summer 2016. The Mary Rose Museum will continue to welcome education groups for workshops in the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Learning Centre, and will offer a range of outreach options for schools and groups. The Wardroom and Admiral’s Gallery will also be available to host private parties, conferences and events.

Since opening in 2013 the Mary Rose Museum has welcomed more than one million visitors. The unrivalled views of the hull from all the galleries will provide an amazing visitor experience and a compelling reason to return.

The only 16th century warship on display in the world, the Mary Rose has been under-going continuous conservation since she was raised in 1982. The hull was first sprayed with a mist of fresh chilled water and then with a water soluble wax from 1994. In April 2013 the Mary Rose entered a stage of controlled air-drying. The hull has reached a stable state within this drying process which now enables the black drying ducts to be removed.

Helen Bonser-Wilton, Chief Executive of the Mary Rose Trust said “This presents an extraordinary opportunity to turn the ‘wreck’ of the Mary Rose back into the living ship that Henry VIII knew and loved.”

The Trust is delighted to announce the appointment of Como as the main contractor for this exciting project. Robert Lapraik, Deputy Chief Executive and Project Co-Ordinator said “Como brings an impressive track record to this complex and completely unique fit-out. We look forward to working with them on the next amazing chapter in the Mary Rose’s history.”

Darran Brand, Project Director for Como said: "The Mary Rose Museum is truly one of a kind, nothing like it exists anywhere else in the world and this project is unlike anything Como has done previously. There are some unique challenges to overcome, but we have an exceptional team and a strong partnership with the Mary Rose Trust to ensure a fantastic end result."

John Rawlinson, Director of Visitor Experience at the National Museum of the Royal Navy said “As work goes on behind the scenes for the next phase in the Mary Rose’s conservation, the attractions at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard including HMS Victory and HMS Warrior 1860 are very much open for business. And with our flexible 12 month All Attraction Ticket which gives entry to all the museums and ships on site, those visiting now will be amongst the first to see the new-look Mary Rose hull.

Next year is particularly exciting for us with a number of developments including not only the Mary Rose, but a new-look visitor route on HMS Victory and a blockbuster Battle of Jutland exhibition.”

Tickets to the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard are valid for one year. Tickets purchased before closure will be valid for the re-opening of the museum in late Summer 2016.