Mary Rose - Construction


The construction of the Mary Rose began in 1510 in Portsmouth and she was launched in July 1511. She was then towed to London and fitted with rigging and decking, and supplied with armaments. Other than the structural details needed to sail, stock and arm the Mary Rose, she was also equipped with flags, banners and streamers (extremely elongated flags that were flown from the top of the masts) that were either painted or gilded.

Constructing a warship of the size of the Mary Rose was a major undertaking, requiring vast quantities of high quality material. In the case of building a state-of-the-art warship, these materials were primarily oak. The total amount of timber needed for the construction can only be roughly calculated since only about one third of the ship still exists. One estimate for the number of trees is around 600 mostly large oaks, representing about 16 hectares (40 acres) of woodland. The huge trees that had been common in Europe and the British Isles in previous centuries were by the 16th century quite rare, which meant that timbers were brought in from all over southern England. The largest timbers used in the construction were of roughly the same size as those used in the roofs of the largest cathedrals in the high Middle Ages. An unworked hull plank would have weighed over 300 kg (660 lb), and one of the main deck beams would have weighed close to three quarters of a tonne.

The common explanation for the ship's name was that it was inspired by Henry VIII's favourite sister, Mary Tudor, and the rose as the emblem of the Tudors. According to historians David Childs, David Loades and Peter Marsden, no direct evidence of naming the ship after the King's sister exists. It was far more common at the time to give ships pious Christian names, a long-standing tradition in Western Europe, or to associate them with their royal patrons. Names like Grace Dieu (Grace of God) and Holighost (Holy Spirit) had been common since the 15th century and other Tudor navy ships had names like the Regent and Three Ostrich Feathers (referring to the crest of the Prince of Wales). The Virgin Mary is a more likely candidate for a namesake, and she was also associated with the mystic rose. The name of the sister ship of the Mary Rose, the Peter Pomegranate, is believed to have been named in honour of Saint Peter, founder of the Christian church, and the badge of the Queen Catharine of Aragon, a pomegranate. According to Childs, Loades and Marsden, the two ships, which were built around the same time, were named in honour of the king and queen respectively.

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Famous quotes containing the word construction:

    There is, I think, no point in the philosophy of progressive education which is sounder than its emphasis upon the importance of the participation of the learner in the formation of the purposes which direct his activities in the learning process, just as there is no defect in traditional education greater than its failure to secure the active cooperation of the pupil in construction of the purposes involved in his studying.
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