The Dig helps boost interest in Sutton Hoo ship building project

Ralph Fiennes as Basil Brown in The Dig Picture: LARRY HORRICKS/NETFLIX

The release of the Dig has helped pique interest in a ship building project in Woodbridge - Credit: LARRY HORRICKS/NETFLIX

A crowdfunding campaign to help complete a replica Anglo-Saxon ship has been launched after a surge in interest following the Netflix film, The Dig. 

The Sutton Hoo Ship's Company has been building a replica of the Anglo-Saxon burial ship found in the mound at Sutton Hoo for the past few years. 

Recently however, its project was given an unexpected boost after the release of the Netflix film The Dig which follows the discovery of the original ship. 

Simon Steel, one of the project's trustees said the impact of the film came as quite a shock. 

"It really seemed to trigger a lot of interest in what we are doing," said Mr Steel.

"We went from having around 1,000 views on our Youtube channel to over 65,000.

"It's quite tremendous."

Mr Steel said that the response from the film - along with the need to keep the project moving - had led to the team to decide to host a crowdfunder .

Most Read

The campaign launched 10 days ago and has so far raised over £8,000 of the team's £40,000 total. 

The pandemic has had a significant impact on the construction of the boat itself. 

The first of the oak wood has now arrived at the Longshed in Woodbridge to be used in the constructi

Wood for the ship building project is set to be put to good use in coming weeks - Credit: Archant

"With lockdown it's made progress that much harder," said Mr Steel. 

"We've made some good progress in terms of two models, which provide us with lots of information about how the build can progress."

These models include a complete 1:5 scale model of the ship and a full scale section of the ship. 

The latter model helps the team to decide how floors and seating on the ship might work, as these elements of the of the original Sutton Hoo ship were long gone by the time the site was discovered. 

"It really is an experimental piece of archaeology," said Mr Steel. 

"I think it will be a really striking ship."

The ship will be built inside the Longshed on the site of the former Whisstocks boatyard in Woodbrid

The ship will be built in the Longshed in Woodbridge - Credit: RACHEL EDGE

Build work is about to step up a gear as the team prepares to lay the ship's keel in the Long Shed in Woodbridge.

"Hopefully that'll happen around the middle of April," said Mr Steel.

"That's the build properly starting. Once we lay the keel we are on a mission to get the ship planked."

It's hoped the hull will be completely planked by the end of the year. From there the interior will be fitted in 2022. 

If all the work is completed on time it's hoped the ship will be launched fully in 2023.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter