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Southsea Castle re-lives the final days of the Mary Rose

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Visitors to Southsea Castle can go back to the time of King Henry VIII and the sinking of his warship Mary Rose.

With the help of experts from the Mary Rose Museum, they can re-live the days when Henry was based at the castle and battle raged on the Solent.

The museum team will be at the castle on 15th and 16th August, 10am to 5pm, for a joint event with Portsmouth City Council, which looks after the historic attraction. Admission is free.

Museum workers in full Tudor costume will walk the battlements, experts will give talks about the Battle of the Solent and the loss of the ship, and real objects from the wreck will be available for visitors to handle. The castle team will also be on hand to reveal the history of the building.

Family activities will include have-a-go-archery sessions in the moat and games in the courtyard. Meanwhile, living history group Black Knight Historical will host activities for children including dressing up as a knight, jousting and learning knightly skills.

Cllr Linda Symes, the council's Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Sport, said: "This is the second year we've teamed up with the Mary Rose Museum for a summer event at the castle, and this one looks set to be even bigger and better. The time of the sinking of the Mary Rose was a momentous period in our history, and this is a chance to find out what it was like to be around in those times. It will be great fun, and fascinating for anyone interested in our heritage."

Southsea Castle was built in 1544 by Henry VIII as part of a series of fortifications around the coast to help protect against invasion. Just as the work was being completed, the Mary Rose sank during the Battle of the Solent, close by the castle. Henry and his court were based at the castle, well positioned to see the battle unfold before them.

During the event, all the usual castle attractions will be open. Although admission is free, donations are appreciated. Under-13s must be accompanied by an adult.

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