National Trust Sutton Hoo
Re-opened Easter 2019
This hauntingly beautiful 255 acre estate, with far-reaching views over the River Deben is home to one of the greatest archaeological discoveries of all time.
Once a thriving hub in the time of Anglo-Saxon warrior kings, for some 1,300 years Sutton Hoo faded from memory. Then a curious landowner and a self-taught archaeologist restored it to international fame with a discovery that changed history.
On a ridge overlooking the River Deben are the traces of a once magnificent Anglo-Saxon cemetery. Here, the powerful aristocracy of East Anglia buried their dead in great mounds during the sixth and seventh centuries. In 1939 on the eve of the Second World War, archaeologists made a remarkable discovery at Sutton Hoo as they opened the largest burial mound and found an undisturbed Anglo-Saxon ship burial (one of only three known Anglo-Saxon ship burials.) Today as you walk up from the River Deben to Sutton Hoo's Royal Burial Ground, you are walking in the footsteps of those Anglo-Saxon mourners that strained every muscle to haul this great ship weighing approximately 10 tonnes and measuring 27 metres in length to its final resting place. It was then buried with their late king and a vast array of treasures on board. During the 1,300 years it remained hidden in the soil, the wood gradually rotted, leaving only a shadowy trace peppered with rusty iron rivets. The ghost of a former ship.
A total of 263 finds from this burial revolutionised our understanding of the first chapters of English history including the now iconic Sutton Hoo helmet, the face of the Anglo-Saxon period. A time that had been seen as unsophisticated, was illuminated as vibrant and cultural.
As well as being home to one of the greatest archaeological discoveries of all time, Sutton Hoo is also home to a rich variety of wildlife. With beautiful countryside, woodland, open fields and views overlooking the River Deben there are plenty of walks to explore across the Sutton Hoo estate.
Following temporarily closing due to the coronavirus outbreak, National Trust Sutton Hoo have now re-opened their estate walks and the King's River Café which is serving a range of takeaway hot and cold drinks and light snacks. The High Hall exhibition, Tranmer House and the gift shop are open from Saturday-Wednesday (closed Thursdays and Fridays). The last admission for Tranmer House and the High Hall exhibition is at 3.30pm. Safety measures are in place inside buildings including limiting the number of people inside, one way systems, hand sanitising points and details are being collected to support the NHS Test and Trace programme. In line with government guidelines, face coverings are required whilst inside buildings. Members and non-members need to book tickets in advance of their visit through the National Trust Sutton Hoo website. See website for more information and updates.
Holiday flats Deben and Wilford (situated in Tranmer House on the Sutton Hoo estate) are also now available to book for holidays from 11 July 2020.
National Trust Sutton Hoo