The once elegant and magnificent Mary Rose Ship
Shipwrecked, and later discovered and dragged back up from the ocean in which she lay, King Henry VIII's warship The Mary Rose is now on display at the Mary Rose museum located on the Royal Naval base in Portsmouth, UK.
Although only little is left of the Mary Rose, the remains of this ship are still impressive and a vertical cross-section of remains can be seen inside th museum. However, when you first enter the Ship Hall you are situated behind a large glass wall, behind which sits the Mary Rose being constantly sprayed with polythene glycol (essentially a wax) in order to preserve it. This process has been going on since 1994 and is due to end in approximately 2012/13, when the ship will slowly be dried out and be ready for display out in the open. I was interested to see the designs for this, and look forward to returning in the future to see it.
It is quite hard to see through the glass because the wax solution always sprays off the ship and onto the windows, but if you wait for long enough in the low-lit corridoor, you will finally see what you came for! Each person is given an audio-guide to listen to whilst walking through the museum, which is available in a variety of european languages. It is fairly interesting, but doesn't tell you a lot more than what you can read online about the ship, which I recommend doing beforehand.
The second part of the museum is where all the artefacts that were discovered with the Mary Rose can be viewed, and I quite enjoyed it here. It is aimed well at families and there are a few hands-on exhibits for the kids. At 12.50 GBP ($20, €14) entrance fee, it is quite an expensive attraction, however an all-inclusive ticket, which allows you to see other historic ships in the dockyard, costs 18 GBP ($30, €20), which takes the edge off a little more.
Please be advised that the Mary Rose Ship Hall is now closed until 2012 whilst the new museum is built around her. [more]