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First look inside Sutton Hoo after six month revamp - with life size replica of famous Anglo Saxon boat

Nick Collinson with the new sculpture  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Nick Collinson with the new sculpture Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Archant

Sutton Hoo has reopened to the public after a £4million revamp - and now includes a replica of the famous ship under which Saxon king King Raedwald was buried.

Mike Hopwood and Nick Collinson with the new sculpture Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNMike Hopwood and Nick Collinson with the new sculpture Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

The incredible archeological finds unearthed on the site are said to reveal “the first pages of English history” following the dramatic discovery of an Anglo Saxon burial site in the 1930s.

It has been a trove for archeologists ever since, containing some of the most important artefacts to English history that have ever been found, giving a glimpse into the lives of people who lived more than 1,500 years ago.

As part of the revamp, a replica of the boat King Raedwald was buried under takes pride of place next to the visitor's centre.

The Anglo Saxon ship was lugged from the River Deben up to the Hoo before the King was buried among his treasures.

The new sculpture at Sutton Hoo   Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNThe new sculpture at Sutton Hoo Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Mike Hopwood, visitor experience project manager, said he hopes the replica will help people get a feeling of the scale of the discovery.

“What we are doing with this project is giving people everything they need to feel the sensation and significance of what happened here many years ago,” he said.

“We use the phrase 'walking in the footsteps of the Anglo-Saxons', and that is exactly what it is.

“It is a chance to stand and look at the landscape and the river and where these people came from. It's their migration story.”

Nick Collinson on the new riverside walk   Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNNick Collinson on the new riverside walk Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

The idea of the project is to bring the site to life, creating a connection among visitors to the events that happened at on the Hoo during Anglo Saxon times.

“You get a sense of the scale of what they dragged up here,” said Mr Hopwood.

“When you stand next to the boat you realise what a significant achievement that was.

“In terms of the National Trust Sutton Hoo is a real jewel.

Visitors will now be able to enjoy new walks  around the grounds with spectacular view of the river Deben  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNVisitors will now be able to enjoy new walks around the grounds with spectacular view of the river Deben Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

“It is no less a jewel than the National Trust's big houses and the treasures they contain.”

Nick Collison, general manager added: “This project touches so many parts of the property.

“This site contains both internationally protected wildlife and internationally important archeology.

“This project was about making the most of what we have.

Visitors will now be able to enjoy new walks  around the grounds with spectacular view of the river Deben  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNVisitors will now be able to enjoy new walks around the grounds with spectacular view of the river Deben Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

“I would like to give a huge thanks to the national heritage lottery fund and to the national trust volunteers and members for their help making this a reality.”

New River View Walk

Visitors will now be able to enjoy new walks  around the grounds with spectacular view of the river Deben  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNVisitors will now be able to enjoy new walks around the grounds with spectacular view of the river Deben Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Sutton Hoo has also opened up a new area for visitors to explore - and to see a side of Woodbridge they may near have seen.

The new River View Walk takes visitors across rare acid grass health land fields, through beautiful shady woodland full of bluebells and along the river Deben.

The walk offers spectacular views of the river as well as Woodbridge - the town's windmill standing in silhouette again the sky.

General manager Nick Collinson, said: “There will be many who haven't see Woodbridge from this side.

The new sculpture at Sutton Hoo   Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNThe new sculpture at Sutton Hoo Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

“The walk really is spectacular, we are really proud of it. We hope one day we will see people come here with their cameras or an easel to paint it.”

Mr Collinson said due to the expected increase in visitors at the site they have been able to pay for a ranger for the first time.

The ranger will work to conserve the natural habitat as well as encouraging wildlife to flourish.

Mike Hopwood and Nick Collinson with the new sculpture Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNMike Hopwood and Nick Collinson with the new sculpture Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

More to come this summer

Sutton Hoo has also opened up a new area for visitors to explore - and to see a side of Woodbridge they may near have seen.

The new River View Walk takes visitors across rare acid grass health land fields, through beautiful shady woodland and along the river Deben.

Nick Collinson and Mike Hopwood with the new sculpture Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNNick Collinson and Mike Hopwood with the new sculpture Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

The walk offers spectacular views of the river as well as Woodbridge - the town's windmill standing in silhouette again the sky.

General manager Nick Collinson, said: “There will be many who haven't see Woodbridge from this side.

“The walk really is spectacular, we are really proud of it. We hope one day we will see people come here with their cameras or an easel to paint it.”

Mr Collinson said due to the expected increase in visitors at the site they have been able to pay for a ranger for the first time.

The new sculpture at Sutton Hoo   Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNThe new sculpture at Sutton Hoo Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

The ranger will work to conserve the natural habitat as well as encouraging wildlife to flourish.

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