Executive team | The Mary Rose
Executive team

Meet the senior management team at the Mary Rose Trust

Helen Bonser-Wilton
Chief Executive

Helen was born and raised in Lincolnshire and received an Honours degree in German and Spanish from Bradford University.

She started her career in Advertising Agencies as an Account Manager and moved into Brand and Marketing with Crown Paint. After a spell as Group Marketing Manager at Bernstein Kitchens, Helen relocated down to Devon and joined the National Trust as Marketing and Supporter Development Manager. Helen then moved to Somerset to be Project Director of Tyntesfield, a £17 million project that was, at the time, the National Trust’s biggest ever project. She became Operations Director for National Trust South West and also led the National Trust’s 2010 Change Programme as Programme Director. 

Helen became Chief Executive of Mary Rose in 2015 and headed up the 2016 relaunch of the Museum. 
Helen is married to Rob and has an 11-year old son Lorcan. 

Alexzandra Hildred
Head of Research

Alexzandra Hildred BA, DSc, MCIFA, FSA, is Head of Research and Curator of Ordnance and Human Remains at the Mary Rose Trust. Alex joined the project in 1979 as a graduate archaeologist. An archaeological supervisor during the 1979-1982 excavations, she has since directed the site monitoring, survey and excavations which culminated in recovering the stem in 2005. 

She has researched and published the weapons of the ship, producing one of the five volumes comprising the archaeology of the Mary Rose, and has worked with the Royal Armouries manufacturing and firing full-scale copies of guns recovered. Alex has taught both at undergraduate and post graduate level and within the Nautical Archaeological Society training scheme. 

Alex has extensive experience on other underwater sites and has directed multi-season projects in Malta and Holland. She was Chairman of the Institute of Field Archaeologists Maritime Affairs Group and a member of the Government Advisory Committee on Historic Wreck Sites. She is nominated archaeologist for the Cattewater and Roosvijk historic wreck sites. Alex is married with four children.

Christopher Dobbs
Head of Interpretation

Chris started work at the Mary Rose in 1979 as one of the Archaeological Supervisors in charge of excavating the contents of the shipwreck. In 1982 he changed to the Salvage Diving Team and was one of the divers still working underwater as it came to the surface on October 11, 1982.

He then worked on other projects in a number of countries before returning to the Mary Rose Trust as the archaeologist responsible for recording the hull and reinstating the deck timbers that had been removed underwater.  For the last ten years he has been working on the interpretation – the ideas and content for the new museum that opened in July 2016.

Chris also has an international reputation having been Chairman and now Vice-President of the influential Nautical Archaeology Society.  He is the UK representative on the International Committee on Underwater Cultural Heritage and Chairman of the Maritime Archaeology Committee of the International Congress of Maritime Museums.

Dominic Jones
Chief Operations Officer
Prof. Eleanor Schofield
Head of Conservation and Collections Care

Prof. Eleanor Schofield is the Head of Conservation and Collections Care at the Mary Rose Trust. After completing her PhD in Materials Science at Imperial College London in 2006, she completed research posts at Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory and the University of Kent. She joined the Mary Rose Trust in 2012 and is now responsible for the conservation of the Mary Rose hull and associated artefacts, the care and management of the collection and research into novel conservation treatments and characterisation methods.

Michelle Rickman
Executive Assistant

Michelle Rickman is the Executive Assistant to the Chief Executive, Helen Bonser-Wilton.  Michelle started her career at the Mary Rose Trust in 2008 as the Project Officer for the new Mary Rose Museum building and then moved to her current role in 2013 once the museum had opened to the public.  She is primarily responsible for the administration of Trustee Board, Committee and panel meetings, as well as HR.

Sally Tyrrell
Head of Development

Sally joined the Trust in 1988 and has seen the Mary Rose through many changes over the years, including the concept, creation and opening of the current museum. Formerly Executive Assistant to the Chief Executive, Sally is now Head of Development, responsible for fundraising and PR.

She had the privilege of being able to dive on the wreck site in 2005 and was responsible for the opening ceremony for the Museum in 2013 and the relaunch in 2016.  

Andy Sheppard
Head of Marketing

Andy joined the Mary Rose Trust in 2019, moving just up the road from the New Theatre Royal, where she helped to re-establish the venue in the heart of Portsmouth, after major building work.

She has worked extensively in Arts and Culture across the South of England in both commercial theatre and in various arts centres, although her archeological skills lie with the Neolithic, rather than the Tudors.

In her limited spare time, Andy can often be found either riding roller coasters, or out walking Rex her Giant Schnauzer with her husband and family.

Mary Kinoulty,  MA, MSc, PGCE
Head of Learning

Mary joined the Mary Rose Trust in 2005 after 24 years in teaching.  Most of her career was devoted to teaching History in secondary schools in Oldham and Portsmouth.  She was Head of History at a local comprehensive school for 16 years.  During this time, she wrote a revision guide for the Schools History Project GCSE syllabus.  She gained further experience teaching A Level students in Havant and adults in Eastleigh, 2004-2005.  

As Head of Learning, Mary is responsible for the formal teaching programme for children and adults at the Mary Rose.  She has overseen the expansion of the schools’ provision to include primary science and history teaching for all ages and abilities from 7 – 18 years.  Innovations include the introduction of primary Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths sessions, a Tudor Masterclass for very able pupils and an interdisciplinary day for International Baccalaureate students. Mary runs CPD days for teacher training students and serving teachers. The Learning Department holds the Learning Outside the Classroom Quality Badge and the Sandford Award.

Mary contributes across the Trust to a wide range of activities including fundraising, marketing, public programming, access initiatives and interpretation.

Sue Wright
Head of Finance

Sue Wright is the Head of Finance at the Mary Rose Trust