The Dig house prepares to reopen at Sutton Hoo post lockdown

Tranmer House

Tranmer House at Sutton Hoo will have an exhibition about the the discovery of the burial mounds. - Credit: Paul Geater

If you loved the Netflix film The Dig or you're fan of Ickworth House near Bury St Edmunds, you'll be able to get back inside from May 17 when the National Trust is able to re-open its attractions fully.

The exhibition centre and Tranmer House will be open at Sutton Hoo and Ickworth will reopen after a major restoration of its roof - and new lighting to show off its treasures.

Ickworth House

Ickworth's rotunda roof has had a major restoration over the last two years. - Credit: Arnhel de Serra/National Trust

Outside areas of most properties have been open since the end of March, but indoor museums and the houses can only reopen on Monday after the relaxation of the Covid restrictions.

National Trust officials are urging people planning a visit to book in advance if they are planning a visit at weekends or during school holidays - although if there is space for people who turn up on the spur of the moment they will be allowed in.

A spokeswoman for the Trust said there usually was space on weekdays for visitors without bookings - but they were often full at weekends. Full details of what is open and when can be found on the Trust's website.

Tranmer House - the home of Mrs Edith Pretty when she called in Basil Brown to explore the Sutton Hoo mounds - will have a new display telling the story of the discovery of the Anglo-Saxon burial ship in 1939 as the clouds of war gathered in Europe.

The Dig, starring Ralph Fiennes and Carey Mulligan.

The Dig, starring Ralph Fiennes and Carey Mulligan, is expected to attract more visitors to Suffolk Hoo - Credit: Larry Horricks/Netflix

There has already been considerable interest in the site since the re-opening of its walks following the release of the film - but this is expected to increase again when the exhibition and house can reopen.

Hilary McGrady, Director General, National Trust says: “This is a big moment that we have all looked forward to for months as we welcome people back safely, to spend time together at their favourite properties. 

“Hundreds of our parks, gardens and countryside locations have already reopened, but we know how much our members and supporters have been looking forward to returning to see our houses and collections again.

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“Our places are nothing without our visitors there to enjoy them and our staff and volunteers have been working hard behind the scenes, cleaning chandeliers, polishing floors and dusting books, to get everything ready.

"It is a matter of huge relief, pride and gratitude that the places in our care can start to reopen following closure due to the pandemic. Not a single place will be lost to the public. The cultural treasures that are our shared inheritance are waiting – for everyone.”

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