October 2020

New for autumn 2020 is the Diving Deep exhibition and the HMS Victory Under Hull Walkway experience. Both of which launch this half term, ready for your visit to the dockyard.

And, don’t forget, we’ve gone above and beyond to make your visit a safe one with plenty of additional measures which you can see in the Welcome Back to Portsmouth Historic Dockyard video.

Diving Deep

It is highly appropriate that Portsmouth Historic Dockyard’s new Diving Deep exhibition opens alongside HMS Victory and the Mary Rose Museum.

Diving Deep showcases the intriguing story of HMS Invincible, from her capture and inclusion in the Royal Navy fleet to her sinking, rediscovery and excavation. On display are never seen before artefacts from the shipwreck that have been hidden on the sea bed for over 250 years.

The discovery and excavation of HMS Invincible is considered one of the most important maritime archaeological projects of recent times certainly since the raising of the Mary Rose in 1982.

Launched by the French in 1744, HMS Invincible was one of the most innovative ships of her time. Her design made her the perfect balance between, speed, manoeuvrability and strength. The Royal Navy captured her in 1747 and she quickly became a favourite of officers, captains and admirals.

Sadly, the Royal Navy did not keep her for long. Eleven years after her capture she ran aground on a sandbank in the Solent. She slowly sank over four days in February 1758, where she lay undiscovered for 262 years.

Easy to follow extra measures have been taken to keep the more interactive elements of the new exhibition open. We encourage you to follow the guidance for everyone’s safety.

HMS Victory Under Hull Walkway Experience

Once you have finished browsing the interactive exhibits of Diving Deep, you can now experience the new HMS Victory Under Hull Walkway.

This experience allows you to walk down into the base of the dry dock and view the 3600 tonne ship from below. This is a first for HMS Victory and a must-do experience on your visit.

Descending into the dock you have the imposing sight of HMS Victory’s Bow, or Beakhead and her original elm keel held fast by copper fishplates and bolts. 

The dock also tells some of the story of HMS Victory’s remarkable survival.  The tell-tale buckling of the foremast support plate, signs of hasty concrete repair and added sections of teak to the keel remind us of the impact of a 250Kg bomb from an air raid in 1941.

Take a walk under HMS Victory to unlock more history than ever before on your next visit.

Visit this Half Term

Visitors to Portsmouth Historic Dockyard can visit all the attractions, exhibitions and new experiences with the Ultimate Explorer Ticket.  

We’re open 10am-4.30pm, last entry 3pm, every day during half term and we can’t wait to welcome you back.

The Mary Rose receives lifeline grant from Government’s £1.57bn Culture Recovery Fund

The Mary Rose Trust is delighted to announce that it has been awarded £655,000 from the Government’s Cultural Recovery Fund. 

This fund was established to save ‘the crown jewels’ of British culture and it was launched by Minister for Digital and Culture, Caroline Dinenage at Mary Rose in July, and this money will help  support us until the end of the financial year. Like many other cultural organisations having lost all income for the year, we needed to raise £2.2m to cover the costs of caring for the collection.

The award-winning Museum now houses the remains of the ship and her collection of 19,000 Tudor artefacts which give an unparalleled insight into life 500 years ago. The story of the Mary Rose has unquestionable international appeal, but the local and regional impact has been extraordinary too.

Chief Executive, Mary Rose Trust, Helen Bonser-Wilton, said:

“The Mary Rose was severely affected by COVID19 and lockdown as the vast majority of annual income comes from visitors. Despite public closure, the vast costs of keeping the unique archaeological collection in climate-controlled environments 24/7 continue, meaning that the very existence of the Mary Rose was in serious doubt. While we had raised significant funds to survive until December from major grant funders and generous individual donors, we still had a considerable gap in funding to survive the year. The grant from the Cultural Recovery Fund, through Arts Council England, is literally a game changer. It recognises the Mary Rose as one of the crown jewels of British culture that the Fund was determined to save and means that the Trust will now make it through the financial year. We are immensely grateful to all those who worked to create this invaluable Fund and to invest in the future of British culture.’

 “The Mary Rose reopened in August, offering joint tickets to Portsmouth Historic Dockyard with the National Museum of the Royal Navy and we are delighted to welcome our visitors again. Securing this grant gives us a vital lifeline, but visitor business is fragile and dependent on consumer confidence. We will continue to seek on-going funding to support our work during 2021 to ensure that the Mary Rose can be enjoyed by future generations.”