Sutton Hoo expands to river with major land purchase

Sutton Hoo land purchase

The National Trust has bought 27 acres of land beside the River Deben near Sutton Hoo. - Credit: Justin Minns/National Trust

The National Trust has unveiled plans for a major expansion of its Sutton Hoo estate after buying 27 acres of land beside the River Deben for £1.9million.

It has bought Little Haugh which will enable visitors to get nearer the river and enjoy views across the Deben to Woodbridge.

Sutton Hoo land purchase

The land purchased by the National Trust is opposite Woodbridge. - Credit: Justin Minns/National Trust

The purchase was made possible thanks to a legacy left to the trust and should be a big boost to one of Suffolk’s most popular visitor attractions.

The National Trust plans to open its new land to visitors in spring next year - giving greater access and new walking routes. There are already public footpaths on the land - and they will remain open.

It will also create a better visual connection between the river and the landscape, helping visitors to understand why this site was chosen as the final resting place of Anglo-Saxon royalty.

Sutton Hoo land purchase

The new land should open to the public next spring. - Credit: Justin Minns/National Trust

Property operations manager Allison Girling said; “We’re excited to be able to share the news that we’ve acquired Little Haugh and what this will mean for our visitors.

"Being able to provide closer access to the river, will help our visitors understand Sutton Hoo’s position in the landscape, which for many, has been a missing piece in the jigsaw puzzle.

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“The newly purchased land is within the Suffolk Coast & Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. From here, visitors will be able to enjoy views of the estuary and Woodbridge across the water, which is where a full-size replica of the Sutton Hoo ship is currently being constructed by a local charity, The Sutton Hoo Ships Company."

The sale of Little Haugh also included two further acres of woodland, ponds, a four-bedroom thatched house that was formerly two cottages dating back to the 17th century and a converted barn, boat shed and workshop.

The trust has still to decide what to do with these.

The purchase is the latest boost for Sutton Hoo which has benefitted from an upsurge in visitors following last year's release of the Netflix film "The Dig."

Last year also saw the opening of the viewing tower giving visitors a new perspective on the burial mounds.

And last month saw the opening of the Swords of Kingdoms exhibition featuring treasures from the Staffordshire Hoard which may have been made in East Anglia during the Saxon period.