Mary Rose lead archaeologist Margaret Rule dies

Margaret Rule, pictured, led the excavation of the Mary Rose
Margaret Rule, pictured, led the excavation of the Mary Rose

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The woman who raised the Mary Rose has died aged 86.

Margaret Rule CBE led the project that excavated and raised the Tudor warship from the bottom of the Solent in October 1982.

Dr Rule, who studied archaeology at Cambridge University, also co-directed excavations in the 1960s at Fishbourne Roman Palace and she was a director of the Mary Rose Trust.

Rear-Admiral John Lippiett, chief executive of the Mary Rose Trust, tonight paid tribute to Dr Rule.

He said: ‘All at the Mary Rose Trust are deeply saddened to learn that Dr Margaret Rule has died.

‘For very nearly 50 years, her name has been synonymous with that of the Mary Rose, Henry VIII’s flagship, she having been the archaeological director of the remarkable excavation.

‘Following the discovery, she learnt to dive to be able to supervise the work, and set new standards of maritime archaeology, being central to the oversight of a close team that fought against the odds to recover the ship. Her sheer drive and will power had much to do with the eventual success.

‘Margaret was an inspiration to the countless staff and volunteers involved both then and ever since.

‘I have had the privilege of getting to know her well over these last twelve years, and was able to keep her closely informed of all the continuous progress. She was so very pleased to see the newly finished museum, and loved it – a dream she had had all those years ago.

‘The Mary Rose is very much her legacy to the nation.’

The Mary Rose is the only 16th century warship on display anywhere in the world and can be seen at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.