The Mary Rose, a flagship of Henry VIII’s English fleet, sank off the coast of Portsmouth in 1545. The hull now resides in Portsmouth Historic Dockyard alongside a number of the discovered artefacts. These provide us with a unique insight into Tudor Maritime life and act as a time capsule for this particular moment in history. Many different materials were found, from leather, wood, human remains to iron, bronze and lead, with items varying from minuscule dice to gun carriages. The development of suitable conservation strategies has been crucial in ensuring the long-term stability of these precious finds.
In this lecture, Dr Eleanor Schofield will give an overview of the conservation techniques and strategies employed over the last three decades. Alongside this, the criticality of new advanced materials and techniques, such as synchrotron based analysis and the development of nanotechnology enabled strategies, in ensuring the long term protection of this important cultural heritage will be demonstrated.