The Mary Rose

The Mary Rose

a?|a glimpse into the livesa?|of those on board

The Mary Rose was made in Portsmouth, sailed from the port over a 34 year period, sank outside Portsmouth in July 1545 and was triumphantly returned to Portsmouth in 1982.

The loss of the ship at a precise moment in time, and the multitude of objects contained within provide us with a unique view of a Tudor warship at the time of Henry VIII, and a glimpse into the lives and working conditions of those on board. 

The archaeological excavation of the Mary Rose remains the largest ever carried out underwater. It developed techniques and attitudes that formed landmarks for the emerging discipline. It created an awareness of underwater archaeology in the UK and abroad.

The accumulated research and development of techniques at the Mary Rose Trust have led to benchmarks for the conservation of marine finds – particularly the treatment of waterlogged wood but also of textiles, leather, iron and non-ferrous metals.

Research on the collection of human remains is transforming our understanding of the diet, health and fitness of men in the mid-Tudor period.

Quick Facts

  • Made of wood
  • Built between 1509 and 1511
  • Built at Portsmouth
  • Commissioned by King Henry VIII
  • Sank 19th July 1545
  • Raised 11th October 1982


  • The significance of the ship at the heart of the local community in Portsmouth is illustrated by the recent naming of the city’s brand new special school. Pupils and parents chose ‘The Mary Rose School’.
  • The collection not only includes human remains but also animal remains and environmental remains such as the pork, mutton, fish and venison bones of the food they had in storage. Peppercorns and plum-stones show how they enlivened their food. The remains of the ship’s dog were discovered by the carpenters’ cabin. It has even been possible to analyse pollen counts.

Did you know?

The Mary Rose was one of the first English ships to be built with gunports, a ship from the first generation of broadside-firing warships - the beginnings of a 350-year period of warship design.


The Mary Rose being lifted from the sea
Navigational equipment
Diver on the wreck of the Mary Rose

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