The Mary Rose Trust applied for a major grant to build the museum, to house the unique 16th century Mary Rose warship and associated collection of thousands of artefacts. The funding enabled the trust to:
- Complete the 34-year conservation of the Mary Rose and artefacts that were on-board at the time of her sinking in 1545.
- Build a new museum to display the artefacts, alongside the ship.
- Increase the museum’s learning facilities
- Carry out associated infrastructure works, including landscaping and facilities.
The Mary Rose is the only sixteenth century warship on display anywhere in the world. She sank in 1545, in full view of King Henry VIII while leading the attack on a French invasion fleet during the Battle of the Solent. It was recovered following the largest underwater excavation ever carried out.
The new museum finally reunites the ship with many thousands of the 19,000 artefacts raised from the wreck. From personal belongings such as wooden eating bowls, leather shoes, and musical instruments, through to longbows and two-tonne guns.
For the first time, visitors are able to see the facial reconstructions of seven members of the ship’s crew, based on forensic science and osteo-archaeology on skulls and skeletons found at the wreck site.