mary rose flag

Mary Rose

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Mary rose is a English carrack Tudor warship she was Built in Portsmouth, England between 1510 and 1511 and it is believed she was named after the King Henry VIII's favourite sister, the ship originally weighed around 500 tonnes but was rebuilt in 1536 increasing her weight to approximately 700 tonnes, although she is small by today’s standards at the time of her construction She was one of the largest ships in the English navy she was also one of the earliest ships that could fire broadside, the amount of wood needed to build the vessel would have been the equivalent to about 600 large trees.

The Mary rose's weapons consisted of approximately 91 guns As well as the large guns on the main deck the Mary Rose carried smaller swivel guns, However the main weapon of choice would have been the longbow and the ship normally carried 185 archers and soldiers the use of the heavy guns would have been a last resort as the crew would have preferred to board and capture a enemy vessel rather than sink it, normally Mary rose would have had a crew of around 400 consisting of 200 sailors, 185 soldiers and 30 gunners, however at the time of her sinking it is believed there were extra men on board totalling approximately 600.

The ship first saw action during the first French war of 1512-1514. Under the command of Sir Edward Howard and her last battle was on 19 July 1545. While leading the attack on the ships of a French invasion fleet, however there is no evidence that French fire sank the Mary Rose and one theory is the Mary Rose was turning and a sudden gust of wind tipped her over.

On 14th May 1966, the first modern dive was made on the wreck site of the Mary Rose this was 0ne of 28,000 dives that led to the recovery of 19,000 artefacts, the ship was eventually raised from the seabed on 11 October 1982, during the lifting process that was being overseen by Prince Charles who is President of the Mary Rose Trust one of the pins holding the lifting frame broke, a steel line snapped and part of the 80 tonne frame smashed down on the hull causing slight damage to the structure of the Mary rose, the ship was then transported back to her home port of Portsmouth, England where she is the subject of ongoing restoration a new state of the art Mary rose museum is currently under construction at the portsmouth historic dockyard to replace the existing museum.

The new Mary Rose museum opened in may 2013.




Ship Specifications

  • Size: Small (by today standards)
  • Type : English Carrack Warship
  • Length: 147 feet
  • Beam: 38 feet 
  • Tonnage: 500 - 700
  • Armament: 91 Guns
  • Crew: 600 aprox
  • Maiden Voyage: 1511  

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