Mary Rose Archaeological Services Ltd | The Mary Rose
Mary Rose Archaeological Services

Mary Rose Archaeological Services Ltd [MRAS] is a contracting company wholly owned by the Mary Rose Trust. The Trust has over 40 years of unrivalled expertise in the conservation of waterlogged organic artefacts.

Who are we?

About Mary Rose Archaeological Services Ltd

MRAS has access to more maritime archaeological conservation capacity than any other facility in Europe if not the world. We are able to make these facilities available fulfilling our responsibility as the leading UK museum for maritime archaeology and conservation [UKMCS]. As a result of our research with maritime museums and Universities around the world, MRAS can offer the archaeological community the latest organic waterlogged wood conservation technology. Over the last 40 years we have acquired unrivalled experience in a variety of fields, including:


  • Excavation of the Mary Rose hull, and over 19,000 artefacts, alongside detailed recording of associated archaeological information
  • Conservation of the Mary Rose hull and the artefacts, which consist of both organic, inorganic and composite materials
  • Creation of a purpose built museum to display the collection, including planning, funding, designing and project management
  • Design of the showcases, preparation of panel and caption copy, interactive and audio visual displays and mount making
  • Design and implementation of environmental monitoring systems for items both on display and in storage, including temperature and relatively humidity control, light measurements, pest management and building management system controls
  • Development of scientific research programmes in a broad range of areas; evaluating degradation mechanisms and monitoring and designing conservation treatments, measuring pollutants in the museum environment and designing suitable sensors for detection, and exploring our collection to further our understanding of Tudor life aboard this historically significant vessel
  • Experience of in-situ monitoring and preservation techniques for the Mary Rose wreck site


Our conservation facility is based in Portsmouth and contains a range of treatments tanks that have capacity up to 15,000L. These are fully accessible with overhead gantries to manoeuvre items. We have 3 different sizes of freeze dryer available for use including our largest which measures 6 metres in length and 2 metres in diameter.

What can we offer?

We can provide the following archaeological services;

  • Management and stabilization of maritime archaeological sites
  • Archaeological recording
  • Condition assessment of archaeological materials, including analysis techniques such as:
    • Microscopy
    • Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy
    • X-ray Fluorescence Spectroscopy
    • Determination of wood ID and associated properties such as density, moisture content
  • A range of conservation treatments for inorganic, organic and composite waterlogged materials, including but not limited to:
    • Iron removal, PEG treatments and air or freeze drying of waterlogged organic materials
    • Desalination and drying of marine archaeological iron and other inorganic materials
    • Surface treatments and reconstruction of inorganic and organic objects
    • Pest control in objects through freezing techniques
  • Advise on artefact storage/display environments
  • Advise on environmental control systems and building management systems
  • Advise on museum development including funding, planning, project management, design and interpretation
  • Advise on material choice for display and storage of artefacts
  • Learning, CPD and outreach
Past projects

Mary Rose Archaeological Services have worked on a number of significant archaeological projects through the years, including;


  • Newport, Medieval trading ship – Newport City Council
  • Galo Roman ship – Guernsey Museums
  • Bronze Age boat – Dover Museum
  • Seahenge – Lynn Museum
  • Fiskerton Iron Age logboat – Lincoln Archaeological Museum
  • Wickford Roman well casing – Southend Museum
  • The Bell of HMS Hood – National Museum of the Royal Navy
Mary Rose Archaeological Services Enquiry

Contact us using the below form or write to:

Mary Rose Archaeological Services Ltd,
College Road,
HM Naval Base,
PO1 3LX, UK.

Or phone Dr Eleanor Schofield or David Pearson on +44 [0]23 9275 0521

Job and volunteering opportunities

We're always looking for volunteers, but we also sometimes have career opportunities too.

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