Pottering around Portsmouth’s Historic Dockyard

July 21, 2013 at 6:30 pm 1 comment

Portsmouth summer 2013 022 summer 2013 027 summer 2013 051 summer 2013 048 summer 2013 046 summer 2013 045 summer 2013 033A day spent at Portsmouth’s historic Dockyard is money well spent. A timed ticket is a must for entry to the newly opened Mary Rose Museum,which opened it’s boat shaped doors on 31 May 2013. Here you can see on three levels the final stage of the drying out process of Henry VIIIs magnificent warship, built in 1510 (when 2 ships cost Β£700), by amateur divers and historians in 1971, and eventually and lovingly the half wreck was raised to the surface and hauled to Portsmouth in 1982 some 450 years after she sank. The restoration project is vast and is due to be completed in 2017. Interestingly this is half a ship, and there is still more on the seabed to be found. The exhibit is superb and very informative…not only a walk around and peer through windows at the magnificent ship herself but also the artefacts recovered with her in many chests…from clothes to weapons, to books, coin and pewter and wooden crockery all sympathetically restored and superbly exhibited. Perhaps the most poignant relic from the watery grave of 500 crew lost when the ship went down, is the skeleton of a dog, terrier sized, found near it’s masters cabin. The ship’s rat-catcher. So many lost their lives because of the netting hung in the rigging to repel boarders acted as a net from which the crew could not escape. It is thought that the gun flaps, a proud invention, added with another row of cannon to the ship, were inadvertently left open and that is why she sank when hit whilst fighting the French/Spanish on 19th July 1545. Quite by chance we visited on 19 July and joined in the observing of a minute’s silence to honour the dead.

As part of the ticket price, admission is included to the HMS Victory, Nelson’s flagship from where he won the Battle of Trafalgar. His vanity prevented him from disguising himself when going up on deck early in the battle and he was shot by a Frenchman at close range and died a slow death, hidden from the crew so as not to dim their moral mid battle. He had a horror of being buried at sea and the ship’s surgeon had the brilliant idea of pickling him in brandy and fortified wine, preserving the body for some 3 months until she reached England. It is alleged the Victory’s crew drank the pickling liquid and declared it to be ‘full bodied’ !! The HMS Victory is still in commission and is currently topless as the masts are being restored. You can still clamber about on-board; not advisable if you are over 6ft tall!

There are other attractions included in the ticket – don’t miss the hourly harbour cruise where you can see Britain’s finest warships at close range, and of course the cross channel ferries! Commentary is lively and informative.

The best news of all is that the ticket is valid for a year so you can return to re-visit perhaps later in the year.

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Entry filed under: history, travel. Tags: , , , , .

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Ella Ritchie  |  March 13, 2014 at 6:47 pm

    rolo could go to a land of jack russlels and they could go to a choclate factory and be the tasters of the choclate to see if it was amazing or soggy and disgusting .

    Like

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Debi Evans

Debi Evans

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