Friday, August 9, 2013

UK Trip Blog #36: Mary Rose Museum: Hatch the Dog and Forensic Face Building

Continuing on our tour of the Mary Rose Museum (one of Henry VIII's ships that sunk and half of which was preserved in the bottom sands of Portsmouth Harbor- only to be uncovered and raised in 1982).

The ship, which has been described as an 'English Pompeii', sunk in front of a watching Henry VIII while leading an attack on a French invasion fleet on July 19, 1545.

WHO WAS "HATCH THE DOG?" - According to, 'Hatch' was the ratter on board the Mary Rose, although he may also have acted as an unofficial mascot. The complete skeleton of Hatch was found aboard the sunken Mary Rose, and pieced together by forensic scientists.
   DNA testing has shown that 'Hatch' was a mongrel, his mother being a whippet and his father a terrier, and he probably had pale streaky brown fur. Analysis of the skull suggests he was between eighteen months to two years old when the Mary Rose sank. 'Hatch' was mostly found outside the Carpenter's Cabin, with some of his bones inside (That's why the museum folks called him "Hatch").   Despite stories claiming he was trapped in the door, he probably died fully outside the cabin, with some parts being pulled inside post-death by marine scavengers.
Hatch's Paw Print on a brick
Hatch's paw print was left on one of the bricks that was being made on-ship. We took a picture of it.

FACE BUILDING- So many skeletons of crew members were found on the sunken ship. Forensic scientists also pieced them together and created faces and bodies based on the skeletons to bring crew members to "life" in the museum. It was a fascinating exhibit of forensic science!



The world's oldest existing ship crowsnest
SHORT HISTORY OF THE SHIP'S SALVAGE -   In 1985, the ship was turned upright and titanium props were installed to support the internal structure and work was undertaken to remove as much sediment as possible.  From 1994, active conservation commenced with the spraying of Polyethylene Glycol (Peg), a water-soluble polymer which can penetrate deep into the wood and support the cell walls.
 On April 29, 2013 the Peg sprays were turned off and the hull will begin its final air-drying phase to remove 100 tonnes of water during the next four to five years. Once drying is complete in 2017, the internal walls surrounding the hull will be removed and visitors will be able to see a completely unobstructed view of the hull. Read more:

Tom pointing out markings that crew members made to ID their stuff

CREW MEMBER MARKINGS - We learned that each crew member came up with their own symbols to identify their belongings on the ship. With a ship of 500 men, they really had to have a way to identify what was their stuff. On the outside of the museum, carvings that were found on things like dishes and cups were recreated.

SHORT VIDEO - We made a short video outside the museum to show you some of the markings.
Tunnel through a mountain on the way back

COOL TUNNEL: THE WAY BACK TO WINDSOR- There was a really cool tunnel that went through a mountain between Portsmouth and Windsor, and Tom liked it so much he took a picture of it.


Gift/Memorial Suggestions

Several of our friends have lost loved ones (human and pets) and we found that one of the best ways to honor their memory is to give to an animal charity.
What better way to recognize a life of love, than by giving another life a chance for love?
We donate to many animal rescues, but because we volunteer with
DC Weimaraner Rescue and Coast-to-Coast Dachshund Rescue, those are our 2 favorites.
Consider giving the chance of life to a dog or cat.

About us

We're two married guys who enjoy the simple things in life, especially our dogs. We volunteer for dog rescues, enjoy splitting dinners, exercising, blogging, helping friends and neighbors, ghost investigations, coffee and tea, Tudor history, weather, superheroes, comic books, mystery novels, traveling, 70s and 80s music, classic country, piano, gardening, writing books on ghosts and spirits, architecture, keeping a clean house, cooking simply, and keeping in shape. You'll find tidbits of all of these things on this blog and more.

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!
Wondering what home project to do next