October 2020

Were the crew of the Mary Rose white Englishmen or did diversity reign on board Henry VIII’s favourite warship?

During Black History Month and in light of the ongoing conversations tackling racial inequalities within society, the Mary Rose felt that it has a role to play within this conversation.

The Many Faces of Tudor England exhibition explores the latest scientific and genealogical findings into the crew of the Mary Rose. Through interactive screens, documentary footage, print material and a reproduction of an intriguing crew member nicknamed Henry - the exhibition helps us answer important questions about the crew.

Internationally recognised historian, writer and presenter, Dr Onyeka Nubia (FRHisS) says 'The Many Faces of Tudor England — helps us see another England, whose faces we do not know, whose voices we have never heard and whose stories have been forgotten. It is an England that is closer and further away from our perceptions and polemics, and it is absolutely fascinating.'

The discoveries point to a much more multicultural crew than we previously thought, the question arises: what further insights might a study of the remaining crew provide and what does the Mary Rose crew say about British national identity today? There is so much more to learn from the crew – come and explorethe diversity of Tudor life at the Mary Rose.

The Mary Rose, in collaboration with Dr Nubia, has produced a podcast giving an in-depth look at Tudor England. Download the podcast.

Visit the Mary Rose website to find out more about the Many Faces exhibition and explore how diverse Tudor England was.

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.