Sutton Hoo, Suffolk: On the trail of the Anglo-Saxons – Telegraph, 2009

The National Trust shares its responsibilities with the Sutton Hoo Society; the latter does site tours while Trust volunteers man the exhibition that occupies a grey timber building 10 minutes’ walk away. Wainwright helped set up the exhibition: to their horror, the researchers found that most visitors knew nothing at all about the Anglo-Saxons. The originators of so much English culture – place names, kingship, legal system – had somehow been squeezed out by the sexier Romans and Vikings. Their delicate interlaced designs were assumed to be Celtic. Even now, some people still leave thinking that Sutton Hoo contained a Viking ship.

Source: Sutton Hoo, Suffolk: On the trail of the Anglo-Saxons – Telegraph

Spooky Sutton Hoo loses its magic – Telegraph

The National Trust visitor centre at one of Britain’s prime historical sites has attracted thousands of tourists – which is bad news, says Giles Worsley

Source: Spooky Sutton Hoo loses its magic – Telegraph

Sutton Hoo is one of those names that send shivers down the spine. Who has seen the enigmatic warrior’s helmet with its sinister eye sockets – discovered there and now kept in the British Museum – and not wanted to know more of its owner?

There is something ineffably romantic about the idea of this silent group of burial mounds above a creek on the Suffolk coast, in one of which lay a Dark Age ship loaded with treasure until it was dug up just before the Second World War. So it was with considerable excitement that I set off to visit Sutton Hoo, drawn by the new visitor centre designed by those admirably sensitive architects Van Heyningen and Haward.

Earthwork remains are among of England’s most haunting monuments. Cathedrals and castles are wonderful, of course, but there is something particularly moving about Avebury or Maiden Castle or the bleak lines of the Wansdyke, striding its way across Wiltshire. Sutton Hoo should have the same numinous character. Sadly, as I soon discovered when I arrived, if it once did it no longer does. Thanks to £3.6m of lottery money, it is now just an ace visitor centre with some nice bumps thrown in…”

Buried Treasure (or not) at Sutton Hoo | via King’s English

Continuing my promise to write more, for other blogs. This time, for the English Department’s shiny new site!

‘The traveller to Sutton Hoo must make two kinds of journey: one in reality and one in the imagination. The destination of the real journey is a small group of grassy mounds lying beside the River Deben in south-east England. The imaginative journey visits a world of warrior-kings, large open boats, jewelled weapons, ritual killing and the politics of independence’

Martin Carver, Sutton Hoo: Burial Ground of Kings?

The travel gods were against us. The trip to Sutton Hoo, Suffolk, usually takes about two hours from London. But on this day in March, our journey took over three hours and involved a ride to the end of the London Underground, a coach, two trains, and a twenty-minute trudge uphill.

Read more: Buried Treasure (or not) at Sutton Hoo |