The latest chapter in the history of Henry VIII's flagship, which was built more than 500 years ago, will see the opening of the new Mary Rose Museum.

In full view of Henry VIII, during a battle with the French in 1545, the gunship sank off Portsmouth, Hampshire.

It then lay undiscovered on the seabed of the Solent for centuries until its exposed timbers were seen by divers in 1971.

Here are some key moments in the ship's history:

January 29, 1510

The Mary Rose is ordered by the newly crowned Henry VIII.


Construction begins in Portsmouth at almost exactly the same spot where the museum is located.

It would have taken about 16 hectares (40 acres) of woodland, more than 600 large oak trees, to construct it.

The bones of 'Hatch,' the ship's dog in a case at the new Mary Rose Museum Credit: Chris Ison/PA Wire


The Mary Rose is launched with its first journey to London to be fitted out.


The ship leads an attack on a French fleet in its first battle, its captain said the Mary Rose was "the noblest ship of sail."


The Mary Rose formed part of Henry's escort across the Channel to meet the French king with the aim of signing a peace accord, something which lasted two years.

Artifacts brought from the sea bed of The Solent and preserved on display at the new Mary Rose Museum Credit: Chris Ison/PA Wire

July 19, 1545

Under the command of Sir George Carew, the Mary Rose sinks while leading an attack on the French invasion fleet during the Battle of the Solent.

Watched by Henry and the wife of Sir George from Southsea Castle, the ship's sinking is said to have deeply affected the king.


Unsuccessful attempts to raise the wreck are made, only sails, guns, parts of the mast and the rigging are recovered.

The ship lays undisturbed for almost 300 years.

Prince Harry meets workers of the Mary Rose Museum in 2011 Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire


Divers see the first exposed timbers and the site is identified as the Mary Rose.

October 11, 1982

More than 60 million people worldwide watched the wreck being raised, the hull was subsequently towed into the same dry dock where it still rests.

Mary Rose being raised from the seabed in 1982 Credit: PA


Active conservation work begins on the ship, with a Heritage Lottery Fund announcement of £21 million for the conservation of the ship and to build a permanent museum.

A view of the tented home of the Mary Rose in Portsmouth in 2006 Credit: Chris Ison/PA

October 11, 2010

Construction works on the new museum begins 28 years to the day of the ship's raising.

May 31, 2013

The new £27 million Mary Rose Museum opens its doors to visitors.