The dream of public access is about to become reality

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Imagine feeling as if you’re actually on board Henry VIII’s Tudor flagship the Mary Rose, 470 years after she sank to the depths of the Solent.

It was always the dream of the Mary Rose Trust to give people that experience – and now it’s set to become reality.

We’re delighted to report today that the award-winning Mary Rose Museum in the Historic Dockyard is to undergo a major transformation that will open up the historic ship like never before.

More than a million visitors have marvelled at the ship and the fascinating displays of her contents since the museum was opened in 2013.

But they have all been separated from the ship by walls and their view of the Mary Rose’s hull has also been obscured by a network of air-drying ducts vital to her preservation.

Now all that is to change. Over the next six months the walls will come down to be replaced with glazing, meaning unrestricted views of the hull from bow to stern in all nine galleries and on all three levels.

That’s not all. For the first time since she was raised from the Solent in 1982, visitors will also be able to share the same space as the Mary Rose, entering the upper deck through an air lock.

It’s been a long wait during the painstaking conservation process, but come next spring the public will finally be able to interact with the ship rather than seeing her through small viewing windows. It promises to be hugely atmospheric.

This is an exciting chapter in the long history of the Mary Rose and can only enhance the museum’s reputation as a world-class attraction right on our doorstep. The work means that the museum has to close for six months. But we think that’s a small price to pay to allow the Mary Rose to finally meet her public.