Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Mary Rose lead archaeologist Margaret Rule dies

Margaret Rule
Image caption Margaret Rule was the archaeologist most associated with work to raise the Mary Rose

The woman who led the project to recover Henry VIII's flagship, the Mary Rose, from the Solent has died aged 86.

Dr Margaret Rule was the archaeologist most associated with work to raise the vessel in October 1982.

The Mary Rose Trust, which is responsible for preserving the Tudor warship in Portsmouth, said it was "deeply saddened" by the news.

The trust's chief executive Rear Admiral John Lippiett said the ship was "very much her legacy to the nation".

'An inspiration'

Following the discovery of the vessel, he said she learnt to dive in order to supervise the salvage operation and "fought against the odds to recover the ship".

"Her sheer drive and willpower had much to do with the eventual success," Admiral Lippiett added.

"Margaret was an inspiration to the countless staff and volunteers involved both then and ever since."

Image caption The £36m Mary Rose Museum at Portsmouth's Historic Dockyard opened in 2013

The ship was discovered in 1971 and raised from the seabed of the Solent in 1982.

It had seen 34 years of service before it sank, killing up to 500 men and boys, while leading an attack on a French invasion fleet in 1545.

The £36m Mary Rose Museum at Portsmouth's Historic Dockyard, which houses the wreck and many of the 19,000 artefacts discovered with it, opened in 2013.

A spokeswoman for the trust said Dr Rule had been suffering from Parkinson's disease and arthritis for some time, and died peacefully overnight on Thursday.

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