Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Pens from Mary Rose wreck site sold for museum funds

Four of the pens
Image caption The pens are made of wood found from the wreck site but are not believed to have been from the ship

Pens made of wood found on the wreck site of the Mary Rose are being sold to raise funds for a new museum to house the Tudor warship.

The 200 pens were created using oak, beech, elm, boxwood and timber, all found on the seabed of the Solent close to the wreck of Henry VIII's flagship.

The Mary Rose Trust hopes to raise £50,000 towards the £35m museum at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.

The vessel sank on 19 July 1545 with the loss of more than 400 lives.

The wreck was discovered in the 1960s and in 1982 it was raised to the surface to be restored in dry dock in Portsmouth.

Ship's hull

Each pen is marked with a unique number beginning with "MR", to signify it was recovered from the Mary Rose wreck site, although the wood is not believed to have come from the ship or its artefacts.

The idea has been supported by broadcaster and author Alan Titchmarsh, who lives in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.

Image caption The hull of the Mary Rose has to be sprayed with a preserving chemical to maintain the timbers

"This is a chance for people to get a little closer to those historic, yet tragic, events," he said.

Robert Lapraik, deputy chief executive of the Mary Rose Trust, said: "We are grateful for all the help we have had to date, but financial support from the public must continue in order to ensure this national treasure is preserved for future generations."

The museum, due to open in 2012, will bring the hull of the ship and its 19,000 artefacts under the same roof for the first time since they were brought up from the seabed.

It will replace the current temporary museum which has space to display only 5% of the Tudor items recovered with the wreck.

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