Saxon ship replica champions trust’s full-scale build project

Pete Clay (left) and Paul Constantine of the Woodbridge Riverside Trust who are planning to build a

Pete Clay (left) and Paul Constantine of the Woodbridge Riverside Trust who are planning to build a full size replica of the Sutton Hoo Anglo-Saxon ship, pose with the half size replica of Sae Wylfing.

A half-size replica of the Saxon ship buried 1,400 years ago on the banks of a Suffolk river makes her final public appearance of the year this weekend.

The Sae Wylfing on the Deben at Maritime Woodbridge

The Sae Wylfing on the Deben at Maritime Woodbridge

In recent months, the Sae Wylfing has become a familiar sight at schools, festivals, carnivals and regattas in Woodbridge and the surrounding area.

Managed by the Woodbridge Riverside Trust (WRT), the boat’s tour highlighted plans for a full-size replica of the Sutton Hoo ship to be built at the old Whisstocks shipyard site on the town’s waterfront.

The Historia festival, being held on the opposite shore at Sutton Hoo today and tomorrow, features eight lectures on events around 600AD, with insight into clues still being revealed at the National Trust site and the West Stow Anglo-Saxon village, near Bury St Edmunds.

Lecturers include Dr Sue Brunning, curator of the Sutton Hoo treasures at the British Museum, and Dr Sam Newton, who will update our understanding of King Raedwald.

Paul Constantine, head of the WRT Anglo-Saxon ship replica project team, will describe the skills of the original builders and outline construction challenges ahead as the team studies excavation of the 90ft vessel – twice the length and eight times the volume of the Sae Wylfing.

The full-scale replica project is due to begin in 2017 at a new purpose-built boat shed – part of the Whisstocks development, linked to the construction of homes at the old Nunn’s Mill site at nearby Quayside, and set to include 14 properties, a heritage building for Woodbridge Museum and a community space.

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WRT trustee, Pete Clay said: “This is very much a community project, but one of international importance. It will be at the heart of a vibrant waterfront community centre in Woodbridge, a celebration of our maritime heritage from Anglo-Saxon times until today.”

Trust members will be on board Sae Wylfing at Historia to answer questions about the ship and the Whisstocks project.

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