Builders leave new Mary Rose museum

John Lippiett, Chief Executive of the Mary Rose Trust, outside the new museum in January during construction
John Lippiett, Chief Executive of the Mary Rose Trust, outside the new museum in January during construction
HMS Richmond

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BUILDERS have finished construction of the new £35m Mary Rose museum.

Warings started work in October 2010 – 500 years after shipwrights began building Henry VIII’s flagship.

It has now been completed in under two years, which is the same time it took to build the 16th century warship.

The company said it was ‘one of the biggest and most technically challenging museum projects in Europe’.

The oblong structure had to be built around the hull of the Mary Rose in a Grade II listed dry dock while the wreck is still being sprayed with a wax preservative. The challenge was magnified by English Heritage which said the dock must be able to be returned to its original state if need be in the future, which meant no drilling into the dock itself.

Warings’ managing director, Philippe Jouy, said: ‘This is an exceptional project which has posed some unique challenges for our dedicated team.

‘Not least was the immense care required to build a modern museum around the precious timbers of the ship.

‘We are proud that it is our expertise that has enabled this fantastic development to protect and preserve a British historic icon.

‘The museum is the very best in 21st century architecture and construction, providing a beautiful and secure environment for one of the finest collection of 16th Century artefacts in the world.’

Some 10,000 Tudor artefacts still have to be moved inside the new museum before it can open to the public.

As reported in The News, the Mary Rose Trust decided to push the opening date back to early next year to ensure none of the priceless items recovered from the sea are damaged in the move.