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Raising the Mary Rose

50 Projects for a Better Future - celebrating five decades of projects making a difference
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Raising the Mary Rose

On 11 October 1982, a crowd of spectators gathered in Portsmouth harbour to watch the Mary Rose, Henry VIII’s sunken flagship, rise from the depths after more than 400 years. The wreck had been rediscovered in 1971 by a joint team of Royal Navy divers and amateurs from the British Sub-Aqua Club, but the operation to raise it expanded significantly over the next decade, drawing in support from the Royal Engineers, the National Maritime Museum and even the BBC. The project broke new ground in diving and conservation techniques, thanks to archaeologists, scientists and maritime salvage experts working together like never before.

“The Mary Rose is not so much a time capsule as a frozen moment of history” – Margaret Rule, lead archaeologist

5,000 individual dives were conducted as part of the project

60 million people worldwide watched the wreck surface

17,000 artefacts were recovered from the ship