A new year will get underway in Anglo-Saxon style next weekend with a visit from the replica Sutton Hoo ship – the Sae Wylfing.
The National Trust site will be welcoming visitors seven days a week from Half Term until the end of October and will be marking the occasion with a special event on the weekend of 13 and 14 February.
Visitors will be able to learn more about the Anglo-Saxon ship burial, before climbing aboard and feeling what it might be like to be a Dark Age King. The Woodbridge Riverside Trust will be on hand to talk about the ship and how it was made.
Throughout the Half Term week, on some days, there will also be visits from King Raedwald himself, displaying and talking about his extraordinary treasures.
A new exhibition also opens on the same weekend called ‘Weaving Words’, celebrating Old English – the lost language of the Saxons, and the remarkable stories that were told around the feasting hall, with readings of poems like Beowulf in the original language.
And Sutton Hoo is also looking to the future by examining its past. Weather permitting, there will be an archaeological team on site on some days, conducting a geophysical survey with ground scanning equipment, and visitors will be encouraged to take part.
‘We are interested in developing a deeper archaeological understanding of this unique site,’ said National Trust Archaeologist Angus Wainwright. ‘And we’re also interested in finding out if our visitors are interested in getting more actively involved in archaeology here – who knows what secrets still lie beneath our feet?’
This year is set to be a particularly exciting one for Sutton Hoo, as it enters the first stage of the Heritage Lottery Fund-supported project to redevelop the whole experience offered to visitors.
With its atmospheric burial mounds, exhibition hall, café and countryside, as well as Mrs Pretty’s house where you can discover the 1930s story of the dig, there will be plenty to do, see and get involved with at Sutton Hoo, not just this Half Term, but throughout the whole year.
Sutton Hoo is open every day from 10.30am to 5.00pm from 13 February until 30 October, and more details can be found at www.nationaltrust.org.uk/sutton-hoo