After a painstaking conservation process, at last there is an unobstructed view of the grand old lady.
As members of the public walked through the doors of the Mary Rose Museum this morning, they were greeted by the culmination of a project that has been 34 long years in the making.
Ever since King Henry VIII’s doomed flagship was raised from the Solent amid worldwide interest back in 1982, she has been viewed past obstacles that inevitably detracted from the experience.
Everybody knew that the jets of chilled water and then water-soluble wax, plus the glass screens, were important to preserve the centuries-old timbers.
But how fantastic now to be able to view the hull of the Mary Rose with nothing between it and the visitor.
As Helen Bonser-Wilton, chief executive of the Mary Rose Trust, says: ‘Visitors will have stunning panoramic views of the ship from all nine galleries.
‘This is the culmination of decades of hard work by the Mary Rose team and we can’t wait to share this stunning new experience with everyone.’
We share that excitement. As one of the jewels in our maritime heritage and tourism crown, the Mary Rose is hugely important.
The redeveloped Mary Rose Museum is a world-class visitor attraction that tells the compelling story of the ship and her crew.
On display is a fascinating time capsule of Tudor life.
But now we can see the ship at the heart of the story with no restrictions.
We urge everybody to go and have a look for themselves and experience something that Sir Peter Luff, chairman of the Heritage Lottery Fund, calls ‘awe-inspiring’.