King Henry VIII watched as the Mary Rose, pride of his Navy, suddenly capsized and sank whilst engaging a French invasion fleet off Portsmouth. This talk brings together Tudor art, geography, history and archaeology to better understand a few desperate minutes of a naval action which occurred almost 500 years ago.
This podcast considers the development of a geographical understanding of the events surrounding the loss of the Mary Rose. The research makes use of a very wide range of data sources including: Tudor artwork, maritime and terrestrial archaeological data, physical geography, written historical accounts, Tudor mapping and even some astronomical data. GIS technology has been used to integrate the data and provide visualisations enabling a step-by-step ‘detective’ approach to unravel the events leading up to the disastrous sinking.
Dr Dominic Fontana teaches Geographical Information Systems, human and historical geography at the University of Portsmouth. He has a long association with the Mary Rose having spent five years working on the archaeological excavation of the ship. He has been involved in several television documentaries on the Mary Rose, one about the Battle of Hastings, a Time Team excavation for Channel 4 searching for the remains of a mediaeval hospice and most recently advising David Dimbleby on ‘Britain and the Sea’ for BBC1.