If you look at our TripAdvisor reviews, you’ll see that the vast majority of them are positive. However, we do see a few criticisms that pop up over and over again. While our museum staff and volunteers do try and explain the reasoning for some of these issues, they obviously can’t speak to everyone.
We’ve gathered some of the more frequently asked questions, and hopefully have answered them here. If you have any more questions, please feel free to contact us!
Why is the Mary Rose obscured by those grey tubes/ducting?
The ship is currently being air dried under environmentally controlled conditions. During this phase it is important that each part of the ship is exposed to the same air flow rate, temperature and relative humidity. The ducts are made of fabric with small holes in to allow air ingress or egress. They are strategically positioned based on a model which ensures even air flow around the entire hull structure, which will minimise stresses induced during drying.
Once the ship has reached the end of this process, the ducting will be removed.
Why is the Mary Rose so far from the windows?
It is vital that we have access to the ship at all times for conservation purposes. Whilst there are some areas we can access from the bottom of the ship hall, many areas required the use of a crane. We therefore have two cranes situated in garages at either end of the ship hall. These cranes are able to move along tracks which are positioned in front of the hull. The gap you see from the gallery to the ship is where the tracks are to allow crane access. You may even see some of the conservation team at work in there during your visit! If you do, please don’t try to attract their attention, as they could get distracted and injure themselves.
Why are the viewing windows onto the Mary Rose itself so small?
While air drying the ship it is important that we are able to maintain the temperature and relatively humidity within set limits. To enable the public to view this exciting conservation project in action we have had to cut windows into our environmentally controlled area. To minimise the interruption to the hotbox but ensure the visitors could see the ship, we were limited in the size of the windows. Once the hull is dry, the entire wall will come down and visitors will enjoy walking through the same enclosure as the ship.
The windows were cut in varying shapes and sizes for two reasons. Firstly, the long lower windows are the perfect height for small children. Secondly, many of them represent the gunports on the Mary Rose. This is also true of the really small one (above left), which is based on the window found cut into the wall of the Carpenter’s cabin.
We should also add, there are three larger windows on each level of the museum, as well as the fully glass-sided lift that gives you a view of the ship as it takes you from the bottom of the museum right to the top.
As we mentioned above, this wall is only temporary. Once the drying process is complete we intend to remove the walls, leaving uninterrupted views of the ship from all levels. This is expected to be sometime in 2016.
Many thanks to Dr Ellie Schofield for giving her time to help answer these questions.