Great British Ships

9pm Wednesday 11th December

Episodes

HMS Victory: Nelson's Great War Ship

Rob discovers the incredible story of HMS Victory

Sunk: Mary Rose Secrets From the Deep

Who was really responsible for the sinking of the Mary Rose?

The Golden Hinde

Exploring the extraordinary story of the Golden Hind – the personal ship of England’s most notorious pirate, Sir Francis Drake.

The Cutty Sark

Rob clambers aboard to experience first-hand the beauty and superior design of this perfect sailing ship

SS Great Britain

Rob discovers what life was like on board for the thousands who set sail on this record-breaking ship

HMS Belfast

Rob Bell delves into the fascinating history of the WW2 cruiser HMS Belfast

Sunk: Mary Rose Secrets From the Deep

Rob Bell investigates the sinking of the Mary Rose - Henry VIII’s great warship which went down nearly five centuries ago, killing more than four hundred men. Over the years, a host of theories have emerged to explain the disaster, including accounts blaming enemy fire, the ship’s builders, an unruly crew, an inexperienced captain and even King Henry VIII himself. But who was really responsible?

Rob gathers evidence from the marine archaeologists who excavated this extraordinary shipwreck and learns what secrets they discovered on the seabed. He also delves into the Admiralty’s archives to uncover the Mary Rose’s forgotten past as the very first flagship of the Royal Navy.  And he comes face to face with the skeletons of crew members who died at their posts.

Along the way, he tries his hand firing the pioneering guns used by the Mary Rose’s crew and he examines these Tudor sailors’ personal possessions - found amongst an astonishing haul of over 19,000 objects recovered from the wreck site.

Ultimately, he learns that the Mary Rose is far more than just an intriguing mystery, she’s also a unique Tudor time capsule offering an unprecedented insight into our ancestor’s lives. Today, the ship is also a miracle of preservation - discovered and raising during the most complex underwater dig ever attempted.

Credits
Producer & Director
for Channel 5