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How you'll soon see Sutton Hoo from a different Angle (or Saxon!)

PUBLISHED: 05:30 23 August 2019

Work is well underway on the new Sutton Hoo viewpoint. Picture; PAUL GEATER

Work is well underway on the new Sutton Hoo viewpoint. Picture; PAUL GEATER

Archant

With most of Sutton Hoo reopened as its £4m makeover nears completion, the last major element of the National Trust project is rapidly taking shape.

How the new viewing tower at Sutton Hoo will look Picture: NISSEN RICHARDS STUDIOSHow the new viewing tower at Sutton Hoo will look Picture: NISSEN RICHARDS STUDIOS

The centrepiece of the new-look heritage site is set to be the new 17-metre high viewing tower that is currently being put up next to the burial mounds that are believed to be the last resting place of King Raedwald who ruled East Anglia in the first two decades of the seventh century.

The tower is now rapidly taking shape and is due to be open during the autumn. National Trust officials hope the first members of the public will be able to use it during the autumn.

The work to install the viewing platform can clearly be seen from the burial area itself - this is open for the first time since the National Trust took over and developed the visitor attraction at Sutton Hoo 18 years ago.

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The work at Sutton Hoo was largely funded by the Heritage Lottery fund and has seen new footpaths created and the exhibition centre drastically re-modelled for the first time since it opened to the public at the turn of the century.

As well as opening up the burial ground, new paths have been created which are believed to follow the route that the Anglo-Saxons would have followed to reach the burial area for King Raedwald back in 625AD.

Very modern methods are being used to build the viewing tower which should blend in with the high trees that are nearby once it is completed.

The steel skeleton is rapidly going up - with the steps clearly seen as part of the prefabricated structure. Once this is in place it will be covered by a weathered-looking cladding camouflaging the industrial addition.

As well as giving views over the burial mounds, it should also give visitors the chance to see tree-top wildlife and views over the River Deben to Woodbridge - including a clear view of the incline that Raedwald's funeral ship was hauled up on the way to his hilltop funeral.

Next month marks the 80th anniversary of the announcement of the discovery of the Sutton Hoo treasure by Ipswich Museum archaeologist Basil Brown who was working for landowner Edith Pretty on the site.

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