Sutton Hoo ship now has a backbone

Sutton Hoo ship

Workers involved with the project to recreate the Sutton Hoo ship, which now has a backbone - Credit: Saxon Ship Company

Good progress is being made on the reconstruction of the replica of the Sutton Hoo grave ship following the completion of the boat's backbone. 

The final piece of the backbone has been installed as part of the project to create a replica of the longship, which was buried at Sutton Hoo in the 7th century and is believed to belong to the Anglo-Saxon king Raedwald. 

Sutton Hoo ship

The backbone of the Sutton Hoo longship has now been completed - Credit: Saxon Ship Company

The vessel - the burial site of which at Sutton Hoo inspired the Netflix film The Dig - is being carefully created from scratch by volunteers at The Longshed on the quayside in Woodbridge, using the methods and structure used by the original builders more than 1,400 years ago.

A team of volunteers work on the keel of the 88ft-long replica of the Sutton Hoo longship, in The Lo

The ship is built out of oak gathered from suffolk farmers - Credit: PA

In April, the EADT reported how the keel pieces were trailered to The Longshed from The Sutton Hoo Ship's Company's second site along the A12 in Wickham Market.  

The keel is the lengthwise timber structure along the base of a ship, which supports the framework of the ship.

The ship is being built using tools that our Anglo-Saxon predecessors would have used, such as axes, and is expected to be completed in 2023, when it will finally set sail on the River Deben in a recreation of Raedwald's final journey to his resting place. 

Project Manager for The Sutton Hoo Ship and captain of Woodbridge Rowing Club, Jacq Barnard Picture:

Project Manager for The Sutton Hoo Ship and captain of Woodbridge Rowing Club, Jacq Barnard. - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

The build has been going on for the past three years, just a few miles away from the mound at Sutton Hoo, where the iconic burial ship was found in 1939.  

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Building merchants Jewson have also provided sponsorship funds for the project.

Trustee Simon Steel with a hand made traditional hammer made from a holly tree that is being used to

Trustee Simon Steel with a handmade traditional hammer made from a holly tree that is being used to build the Sutton Hoo Ship. - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

Andrew Bullard, the firm's timber development manager, said: "We are very keen to assist in the sustainable build with timber as it would have been 1400 years ago and the great work they are doing in using and making tools of that period.

"It has become and will continue to be an iconic site and project that will promote our town and county."