A £27 million museum for Henry VIII’s flagship, the ‘Mary Rose’, will be opened later in Portsmouth, reuniting the ship with thousands of its artefacts after they were salvaged 30 years ago.
The Mary Rose Museum, designed by Wilkinson Eyre and Pringle Brandon Perkins+Will architects, will provide a vivid snapshot of Tudor life when it opens on Friday 31 May at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, where the ship was built.
The new museum will include thousands of the 19,000 artefacts found with the boat when it was discovered on the seabed in 1971.
Forensic science experts have also recreated some of the faces from the crew using skulls found from the wreck.
The areas of the ship where the crew lived and worked, such as the surgeon’s cabin and the gun deck, have also been recreated.
The gunship sank off the coast of Portsmouth in full view of Henry VIII during a battle with France in 1545. It lay undiscovered in the Solent until its exposed timbers were seen by divers in 1971. The ship was finally raised in 1982.
Since the Mary Rose has been brought up, the hull has been constantly sprayed with water and wax chemicals, but the jets were turned off last month.
Visitors to the museum will only be able to view the ship through windows, as it will be kept in a ‘hot box’ chamber for the next four years to be dried out.
The new museum will be fully open to the public from Friday, but tickets will have to be pre-booked.
Video: Mary Rose museum to open