Project information

The Mary Rose Trust Museum

The Big Idea is our New Mary Rose Museum to open in 2012. It will provide safe future for the Mary Rose within a stunning Tudor Maritime Heritage experience. Visitors of all ages, abilities and nationalities will see, for the first time, the hull and artefacts of the Mary Rose displayed together.

January 2008 - September 2012

Charity information

The Mary Rose Trust

The Mary Rose Trust logo
  • Need


    1. The Mary Rose is the only Tudor ship in the world. She has been on display, whilst undergoing wet conservation. She needs to dry out and the current building cannot support the process.
    2. The current Mary Rose Museum can only house 6% of the 19,000 artefacts, is based in an old boat shed, and is 300m from the ship
    3. The education facilities are tiny for the demand
    4. The Trust seeks to end years of hand to mouth existance and provide a sustainable future for this iconic collection.


    1. The new museum will provide the correct conditions under which the hull may dry out
    2. The exciting three tier, mirror image, replica hull, and character cases and interpretation galleries will permit about 60% of the collection to be displayed.
    3. A new purpose built learning centre will welcome 30,000 students to the classrooms
    4. Projected income from visitors, the shop, cafe and corporate and private functions sees the Trust achieve break even and profit from 2016.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To build a stunning museum where the Mary Rose and her artefacts will tell their unique stoies.


    » A focused fundraising campaign to reach key Trusts and grant making bodies, corporate entities, and High Net Worth Individuals for major donations.
    » A Public Campaign to engage the public in fundraising activities to support the appeal from October 2009. This has resulted in the NEW CREW initiative
    » High profile media attention around key points in the campaign and imaginitive use of artefacts to engage extensive coverage of the project.

    We have achieved major successes to date including the biggest Heritage Lottery Award ever, and we are now in the process of building the museum. We have £3 million left to raise.

  • Impact


    Long term changes include
    * Providing a museum that is designed to welcome people of all ages, abilities and nationalities
    * An increased range of educational experiences in Science and History based on the Mary Rose collection
    * Financial stability of the Trust to safeguard the future of the collection
    ending years of financial difficulties.
    These changes are already on the horizon as the museum build is underway and its completion brings with it the changes we want to make.


    The project is managed by a team of experts who have long associations with museum building and with the Mary Rose itself. The extensive application process for HLF funding included the establishment of a risk register which takes account of (but is not limited to) financial, legal, civic, logistical, ethical and archeaological factors surrounding the project. It is regularly updated with risk factors increased or decreased, and processes put in place to meet the changes as needed.


    The Trust reports to donors through personal letters, publishing an annual review and regular funding reports to those offering year on year funding. We strive to maintain excellent donor relations. It is intended that all donations for the New Museum will be recorded in a "Roll of Honour".

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £34,894,838

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £9,834,299 Building work Building construction (see below re total)
      £1,750,000 Building work Construction (total £11,584,299)
      £4,102,520 Galleries Exhibition fit out
      £2,800,000 Administrative Relocation costs MRT Activities Professional fees
      £5,043,000 Enabling works Development
      £7,376,031 Hull drying etc Conservation
      £3,988,988 as per description Inflation and Contingency

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Heritage Lottery Fund £21,000,000 Guaranteed
    High Net Worth Individuals £3,050,000 Guaranteed
    Trusts and grant making bodies £6,598,000 Guaranteed
    Public Appeal £85,000 Guaranteed
    Corporate support £956,000 Guaranteed
    Gifts in kind £278,000 Guaranteed
  • Background


    Portsmouth is a city of great social contrasts with a unique position as the home of the British Navy. Its fortunes have followed the diminishing fleet but the Dockyard is now developing as the leading UK Maritime Heritage destination, displaying 4 centuries of Naval History. the Mary Rose was built here and sits just 50m from the dry dock where she was built and is key to understanding the history of the defence of our island nation and the lives of the men who sailed in her.


    There is profound deprivation in Portsmouth and the Trust proudly works with agencies adressing this issue. Our outreach team is the "museum that comes to visit" and works with special schools, health and disability groups and support groups whose members cannot visit. Access and Inclusivity for all are key to the design of the new Museum we will develop and expand our work alongside the wider need to engage all visitors and students who will benefit from visiting this world class museum.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    The Mary Rose has been in the care of the Mary Rose Trust since 1979. Many of the staff who work on the conservation of the hull have done so since 1979 and many of the divers who raised her work as volunteers in the museum. There is only one Mary Rose, it is a unique project, and the organisation best placed to safeguard her future is the one that has cared for her when she was a wreck on the sea bed and oversaw her raising.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Christopher Dobbs - Curator And Head Of Interpretation

    A diving archaeologist with over 20 years involvement, Chris has driven the museum design and interpretation and is passionate abut his work.