What lies beneath
EXACTLY 35 years ago this month, 60 million people worldwide watched as the Mary Rose, Henry VIII’S favourite warship, emerged from the Solent’s depths, where she had lain undisturbed for more than 400 years.
In service for 34 years, she sank between Southsea Castle and the Isle of Wight on July 19, 1545, while defending England from a French invasion fleet larger than the Spanish Armada during the Battle of the Solent. Discovered by divers in 1971, the Mary Rose was excavated between 1979 and 1982, when the hull was raised. Complicated conservation work since has involved spraying the Tudor warship with mists of chilled water, followed by water-soluble wax, largescale controlled air-drying and a refurbishment in 2016. Her current home, the Mary Rose Museum in Portsmouth, is celebrating the anniversary with two days of talks. Speakers include TV historian Dr David Starkey, who calls the ship ‘Britain’s Pompeii’ because of the sheer volume of accompanying treasures found, including weapons, jewellery, furniture and medical equipment, 19,000 of which are on display at the museum. Discoveries included 45% of the entire ship’s crew, which analysis has shown was mostly male, under 30 and from the West Country. On Friday, October 13 and Saturday, October 14 and tickets cost £40 for one day or £70 for both. Visit www.maryrose.org/anniversarylectures for further information and to book a place.
The Mary Rose was Henry VIII’S favourite warship and sank during the Battle of the Solent in 1545