23/04/2015 13:08 BST | Updated 21/06/2015 06:59 BST

Overheard in the Museum

There are many reasons people visit museums; ticking off a box on a 'places to see' list, holidaying in the local area, even sometimes a genuine interest in the subject! But mainly, the reason people go to museums rather than, say, theme parks or the cinema is that they want to learn.

In the museum world, we often hear 'experts', sharing their 'knowledge' in confident, knowing voices. Even at the Mary Rose Museum individuals give 'the tour' to their families and friends. It is thanks to these individuals, of all ages, that we present the comedic Alternative History of the Mary Rose...


  • The Mary Rose, also known as the Marie Rose, the Rose Marie and HMS Warrior, was built by King Arthur (also known as King Henry) in the 15th Century.
  • It was named after the 2 year old Mary Boleyn, who in later life, he would meet and take as a mistress.
  • Despite there being actual archive footage of the ship sinking in the museum, there is some debate over what exactly happened on her fateful maiden voyage.
  • The Mary Rose was launched from Plymouth Harbour, and sank within minutes. Some say that she was upended when the crew, hearing that Henry VIII (so called because of his eight wives) was on the shore, all ran across to get a look at his royal personage, despite their all being foreign. Even those who were apathetic to the king ran across, as there was also a whale, a sea monster and a mermaid.
  • The iceberg she hit may also have had some influence on her loss. Water came rushing in through the gunports that were cut below her waterline (that bit is true), as well as the hole made by a French cannonball that, after penetrating the hull, was placed in storage with the ship's own supplies.
  • The Mary Rose also suffered from weight and structural issues. With thousands(!) of sailors on board, even though people were so much smaller in those days, the integrity of the hull was weakened, causing the ship to split down the middle, which explains why only half a ship is currently on display.
  • In the 1970s The Mary Rose was raised by Prince Charles, which everybody watched live on Blue Peter despite it happening at 9am. Everybody remembers the moment when there was the loud crash when the cables snapped, causing the other half of the ship to break off and fall back into the water, which explains why only half a ship is currently on display.
  • For years the Mary Rose was sprayed with sea water to stop it rotting, which has to be done forever, although it did stop in 2013 so they could start the work on rebuilding the other side.

So there you have it - the myths of the Mary Rose are alive and well at the Museum. We love hearing your musings as you wander the decks. And remember, what's said on the ship, stays on the ship...or so you thought!

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