Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 10°C

min temp: 6°C

Search

Sutton Hoo: Cut-throat competition for Anglo-Saxon chess champs

PUBLISHED: 11:30 12 August 2014

Hnefatafi championship at Sutton Hoo. An Anglo Saxon and Viking version of Chess.  Shane and Brain Wilson, Ian and Angelica Kirkbride, Pete Jennings, Gregg McDowell and Guy Lown

Hnefatafi championship at Sutton Hoo. An Anglo Saxon and Viking version of Chess. Shane and Brain Wilson, Ian and Angelica Kirkbride, Pete Jennings, Gregg McDowell and Guy Lown

Visitors to a celebrated archeological site in Suffolk arrived hoping that the ancient Anglo-Saxon version of chess was easier to play than it is to pronounce.

Sutton Hoo, near Woodbridge, invited people along to learn the game and even participate in the national Hnefatafl championships.

Hnefatafl has links to the National Trust site as pieces were found with the dead warriors buried in some of the mounds 75 years ago.

The unusual game was brought to Sutton Hoo by Anglo Saxon re-enactment group Ealdfaeder - meaning ‘Old Father’ or ‘Ancestor’.

Pete Jennings, one of Ealdfaeder’s organisers said: ‘The Saxon/Viking board game Hnefatafl, which means King’s Table, can be learnt in a couple of minutes. It is the fiendish tactics that make it fun though.”

Mr Jennings was also there to defend the English National Hnefatafl Champion title he won in 2013.

Sutton Hoo is famous for being the site of the largest and best preserved ship burial known on English soil.

Though the ship itself had long dissolved into sand, many of its treasures remained, arranged around the burial of a king or great warrior.

Ruaidhri O’Mahony, National Trust visitor operations manager at Sutton Hoo, said: “One of the discoveries found in the royal burial was a collection of playing pieces.

“The Anglo Saxons very much enjoyed playing games using counters or figures, and the remains of such games are often found in Saxon graves of all social levels.

“Strangely, one of the ivory characters of the Sutton Hoo burial had been separated from the rest, wrapped in textiles and placed in a silver bowl. We can only speculate about the meaning of this mysterious arrangement.”

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other East Anglian Daily Times visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by East Anglian Daily Times staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique East Anglian Daily Times account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

An Ipswich man branded a ‘predator’ has been found guilty of trying to rape a woman as she waited for a train at a deserted Suffolk railway station.

Shopping in Ipswich is to get a welcome boost over the next few months as new stores open in the town centre.

Police are appealing for witnesses after 26 metal detectors worth around £10,000 were stolen during a burglary in Combs near Stowmarket.

Sheltering in the Houses of Parliament, a Suffolk butcher has revealed how for the second time he found himself stuck in London as terrorists struck the capital city.

James Cleverly paid an emotional tribute to his friend PC Keith Palmer who was killed in the grounds of Houses of Parliament and made a call for posthumous recognition.

A 62-year-old shoplifter has been given a 12-month conditional discharge after stealing groceries worth nearly £11.

The University of Suffolk is continuing to buck the national trend as application numbers soar despite a national downturn.

Most read

Great Days Out

cover

Click here to view
the Great Days Out
supplement

View

Eating Out in the Broads

cover

Click here to view
the Eating Out
supplement

View

Visit the Broads

cover

Click here to view
the Visit the Broads
supplement

View

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24