A Mary Rose team diver prepares to be lowered into the sea from the dive vessel Terschelling
The ship, Henry VIII's naval pride and joy, foundered in gusty conditions in 1545 and was raised in 1982. Housed in atmospherically controlled conditions at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, the impressive remains amount to a near-complete starboard side.

What was missing was the bow - but now the Mary Rose team, among whom are several of the original excavation divers, are to raise a number of bow timbers, including a substantial stem timber, and an anchor.

The diving programme began on 23 September and runs to 14 October. The particularly large stem timber and anchor are due to be raised on 11 October, and the public has the opportunity to take a boat trip out to the site to witness the recovery.

The timbers to be raised are from the wrecks lower hull area, and are expected to help experts determine how the vessels forward sections were shaped. After treatment, the pieces will join the rest of the wreck in the Mary Rose Museum in Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.

After years of no diving on the site bar periodic inspections, serious excavation work resumed in 2003 after the MOD announced a decision to dredge in the area to create a new, deeper shipping channel into Portsmouth.

It was thought that the course of the channel, while skirting the Mary Rose area, could upset the site. With funding support from the MoD, through 2003 and 2004 searches made just outside the original excavation area, and the bow timbers were located.

Recently, it was determined that the dredging, to begin soon, may not impact as badly as originally feared on the Mary Rose site. Even so, the MoD has agreed to fund the remainder of the recovery programme.

To book a place on the 11 October boat trip, contact Joanna Coope at the Mary Rose Trust in Portsmouth, on 02392 750521 or at j.coope@maryrose.org
The cost is £25 per head, to include: A three-hour pleasure-boat trip to see the raising; a talk on the 1545 Battle of Portsmouth and loss of the Mary Rose; and an account from one of the divers who will have just recovered the last artefacts.

Related links
Mary Rose Trust