It’s been a whole year since we reopened the Mary Rose Museum, and since then we’ve welcomed over 380,000 people into the museum, many of whom are return visitors!
The Mary Rose Museum has the same mix of original Tudor military and personal objects on display (actually, we’ve added a few more; see if you can spot them!), but with our relaunch we added a number of new attractions to make a return to the Mary Rose irresistible…
The Best Views since 1545
The Mary Rose has never been easy to see. When she was raised, she was covered in the lifting frame, after that she was cloaked in mist for 30 years, then obscured by drying ducts and only visible through small windows in a climate controlled chamber. Now, though, she’s visible from nine galleries of the museum, with special lighting that makes her look pretty special, if we say so ourselves.
And that subject… there’s also…
The Men of the Mary Rose
In the past, getting a sense of scale with the Mary Rose has fallen to a single cardboard cut-out on the upper deck, but now she’s brought to life with a number of projected crewmembers, rushing about the ship, performing tasks both peaceful and in preparation for war. Everybody is there, from the cook and his mate to the officers; even Hatch, the ship’s dog makes an appearance!
The Men of the Mary Rose show has proven very popular with our younger visitors too, as they try and spot the different characters and see what they’re doing.
Of course, they help contribute to a…
Real Tudor Atmosphere
By this we don’t mean a half-timbered façade, everything done up to look olde worlde with actors being all ‘hey nonny nonny’, but the sense of history you get being in the same room
This isn’t the first time visitors have been able to share a space with the Mary Rose – in the early days of spraying, guests would be in with the ship, getting rather damp! These days, though, the sprays are off, and you get to see the ship from above in all her majesty.
On our top deck, you really get to exist within the same environment as the Mary Rose, smell the timbers and get a true sense of history from a truly historic warship.
The ship wasn’t the only new thing to go on display; after nearly a decade in conservation, the Mary Rose’s emblem went on display. The ‘figure head’ of the Mary Rose, it depicts a Tudor Rose, and would have been mounted at the front of the ship. Rather fitting then that it’s one of the first objects to greet visitors to the museum.
It’s not just our younger visitors who’ve benefited from our relaunch. We have our exclusive buggy service, for those who find it difficult getting up the dockyard, which has proved very popular, and we see a lot less exhausted visitors. Once they get here, we also have our gallery stools, which mean that if you do start to lag a bit, you can sit down and enjoy the museum.
We also hold “Lights Up” mornings, where people with visual impairment, or who have issues with the dark, can come and enjoy the museum.
The Mary Rose Museum App
We’ve avoided producing an audio tour – we want you to experience the museum, not shut yourself off from everything with headphones, but we realise that some people like them, so we produced a Mary Rose App, which has proved very popular. It runs off our museum’s free Wi-Fi, and is, of course, completely free to download for Android or iOs. Currently our audio highlights tour is available in English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Polish and Japanese, with other languages on the way.
Of course, the best guide for our museums is our team of staff and volunteers. If you see one, either in costume or in a pink shirt, go and have a chat, they’re always happy to help.