In early 2013 the Mary Rose Trust will open a new museum, bringing the hull and most of the 19,000 artefacts that were raised with the Mary Rose together again.
Many will have visited the Mary Rose in Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. The current museum near the dockyard entrance displays a fraction of the artefacts raised with the ship while, some distance away, beyond the stern of HMS Victory, the timbers of the ship could be seen through a mist of spray.
The old museum remains open but the Ship Hall is now closed and work has started on enveloping it in a brand new museum to open in early 2013.
The building has been designed by Wilkinson Eyre, a prolific firm but probably best known for the Millennium Bridge, crossing the Tyne between Gateshead and Newcastle. For the Mary Rose, they have designed an elliptical ‘jewel box’, placing the hull at the centre with galleries running the length of the ship, each at a level corresponding to the deck levels on the ship. Artefacts will be set out in these galleries, designed by the architect and maritime archaeologist Chris Brandon, so that the visitor can see what the decks would have looked like moments before the ship sank. There will also be six galleries arranged by theme to help tell the personal stories and working life of the crew on-board.
The museum will represent the very best in 21st century architecture and construction, providing a beautiful and secure environment for the finest collection of 16th century artefacts in the world.”
The existing Mary Rose Museum remains open during construction to offer an amazing visitor experience with more than 1,000 of the finest conserved artefacts recovered from the site. – www.maryrose.org/