The Dig helps boost interest in Sutton Hoo ship building project
- 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.
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"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 .
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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.
"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."
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.