In a field overlooking the river Deben at Sutton Hoo near Woodbridge, local archaeologist Basil Brown found a 90 foot long Anglo-Saxon burial ship in 1939. This led to the discovery of the most amazing collection of treasures that had lain undisturbed within the ship for over 1300 years. The 254 acre estate was subsequently donated to the National Trust who now manage it.
A few shots of the excavations from the exhibition hall
Original burial ship
A reconstruction of what the burial chamber in the ship would have looked like. Chambers within a ship collapsed within a century of it's burial.
Some interesting history before taking you on a walk around the grounds with me where we will see some of the burial mounds
Long ago in the days before written history important men and women were buried under mounds, often with all their precious goods as signs of their wealth.
At the time there were 2 ruling powers, the authority of kings and the authority of the church. In Raedwald of East Anglia's reign (about 599 - 625 AD)the growing world of Christian power spread into Kent and was ready to expand. Pope Gregory sent missionaries to the Kentish King. King Raedwald was baptised and built up power over both Pagan and Christian kingdoms. He set up alters to both Christ and the old gods and claimed descent from both Woden and Ceasar. He balanced the rule between both Christian worlds and Pagan ways of East Anglian society. Trade and Christian Franks brought wealth and East Anglia's first town, the port of Ipswich began to grow.
Many centuries later graves were explored for treasure. King Henry V111 permitted excavations. The pits that were then dug have been uncovered here.
Overlooking the estuary as we walk
Tranmer House, formerly the main residency on the Sutton Hoo estate now used for school groups study
A stark view of what Dutch Elm disease has done to our nations Elm trees
An interesting seat to stop and rest on the walk