Everything a parent needs to know about the Mary Rose | The Mary Rose
Everything a parent needs to know about the Mary Rose
In the Museum | 15 Jun, 2019 | Museum Blogger
For when the kids ask, and you know they’re going to!

Some parents take pride in knowing everything, and are always happy to share their knowledge with their kids. However, sometimes mums and dads need help with a few details, so we've provided this handy guide to help!

Why did the Mary Rose sink?

Nobody knows! Apparently the gunports were left open when the ship turned, allowing water to flood in. We’re not sure if this was because orders were not given or ignored.

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Why is there only half a ship?

When the ship was on the seabed, the starboard (right hand) side was buried under the mud. This mud had no oxygen, so the wood didn’t rot. The part that was exposed did, leaving what we have.

Are they going to rebuild it?
(Spoilers - No.)

No. The Mary Rose is 100% original, with no modern additions. Everything you see on the ship (support structures and monitoring equipment excluded) was made in the 16th century.

Why is it dark in the museum?

Too much light can damage objects, especially some of the delicate materials that were found on the Mary Rose such as cotton and silk. Even bronze and iron can be damaged by oils on human skin, which is why we ask people not to touch things.

Was the ship really this wide?

The mirror image of the ship does not create a “whole” ship - There is a gap between the real mast step and the sticker in the gallery. The actual ship was 11.9m wide at its widest point.

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Why was there a dog on board?

The dog was most likely a ratter - catching rats that eat the ship’s supplies. 
We called him Hatch because he was found near the door, or hatchway, to the carpenter’s cabin.

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What was the mallet used for?

When not being used as a carpentry tool, the mallet was used with a chisel to remove fingers and toes during amputations.
It was never used as anaesthetic - the best it would do is give the patient a cracked skull and minor brain damage.

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What are the long sticks in the hold?

The long wooden sticks on the lower deck are longbows, which were stored unstrung in chests in the hold. 
You can try and pull a strung replica in our upper deck handling area - the adult one is pretty hard to pull though!

What was the conservation process?

1982-1994: The hull was sprayed with fresh water to keep it damp and wash out impurities.
1995-2013: The hull was sprayed with Polyethylene Glycol (PEG) to fill the cells of the wood to stop them collapsing.
2013-2015: The ship was dried out with ducting along the decks.
2015-today: The ship is mostly dry, and is still being monitored.

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What are the white ''Walkie Talkies' on the ship and in the cases?

They monitor the humidity and temperature levels, so we know if the environment is right for the ship.

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Was Henry VIII on the ship when it sank?

No. He was in Portsmouth, watching from Southsea Castle.