Tuesday, October 04, 2005


Vital piece of Henry VIII’s favourite warship to be recovered


24 Hour Museum
By Graham Spicer
October 01, 2005

Endangered items uncovered at the seabed wreck site of the Mary Rose, including the bow stem, are to be brought to the surface thanks to funding from the Ministry of Defence.

The Mary Rose was Henry VIII’s favourite warship and rates alongside Nelson’s Victory as one of Britain’s most famous ships. Although it sunk in the Solent off Portsmouth in 1545, its hull was successfully recovered in 1982 and is now displayed at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.

Sections of the vessel still remain on the seabed, however, and a new archaeological dive has been announced which plans to recover items in danger of decay.

The dive is funded by the Ministry of Defence in consultation with English Heritage and is set for completion this month.Uncovered anchorThe ship’s stem, the major timber in its bow at the front of the vessel, will be brought to the surface for conservation along with an anchor uncovered during previous dives.

Christopher Dobbs, Maritime Archaeologist at the Mary Rose Trust said: 'The stem timber is a particularly significant timber in a ship as it defines the shape of the hull at the bow. This is a vital piece in the Mary Rose jigsaw that has been lost until now.'

The MOD began funding dives on the wreck site in the summer of 2003 as part of plans to base the Royal Navy’s new generation of larger aircraft carriers in Portsmouth.

Vulnerable timbersFinal plans for a deeper channel to accommodate the vessels are now unlikely to affect the wreck site but excavations left vulnerable bow timbers and an anchor exposed, which has led to the decision to raise them. Other less exposed remains, which have not yet been identified, will be re-buried on the seabed to preserve them from decay.

John Lippiett, Chief Executive of the Mary Rose Trust said: 'Future generations will no doubt return for further excavations, but the site will be well protected.'

The divers hope to raise the bow section on October 11, the anniversary of the recovery of the hull.

Christopher Dobbs added: 'For the last 23 years we have been displaying the hull in our Ship Hall without the bow and when this timber is conserved and put on display, it will be much easier for the public to see the shape of the ship.'


Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?