A selection of pens made of wood found on the wreck site of the Mary Rose are being offered as unusual Christmas gifts to raise funds for a new museum to house the Tudor warship.
A limited edition of 200 pens has been created using oak, beech, elm, boxwood and poplar timber all found on the seabed of the Solent close to the wreck of Henry VIII’s flagship.
Each pen is marked with a unique number beginning with “MR”, to signify it was recovered from the Mary Rose wreck site, although the wood is not believed to have come from the ship or its artefacts.
The Mary Rose Trust hopes to raise £50,000 from the sale of the pens towards the £35 million needed to build the new museum at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, Hampshire.
Broadcaster and author Alan Titchmarsh, who is supporting the fundraising campaign, said: “I have always been fascinated by this iconic English wreck.
“As a resident of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, I often look across the Solent and think of that fateful day in 1545 when the Mary Rose sank in such mysterious circumstances.
“This is a chance for people to get a little closer to those historic, yet tragic, events.”
Robert Lapraik, deputy chief executive of the Mary Rose Trust, said: “We are grateful for all the help we have had to date, but financial support from the public must continue in order to ensure this national treasure is preserved for future generations.
“We hope people will take this opportunity to buy a truly unique Christmas gift for a loved one and help the Mary Rose secure her rightful place in British heritage.”
The limited edition Mary Rose pens can be ordered from the Mary Rose Gift Shop, Portsmouth Historic Dockyard (023 9283 9938) at a price of £250 each.