BBC Radio Suffolk at Sutton Hoo

The ship sculpture

2019 is a very special year for Sutton Hoo as we celebrate the 80th anniversary of the excavation of the Great Ship Burial. On Tuesday 5th November we were joined by BBC Radio Suffolk for a day of broadcasts from Sutton Hoo.

It’s eighty years since the teams led by Basil Brown and Charles Phillips uncovered one of the most significant archaeological finds in Great Britain. The early seventh century Great Ship Burial transformed our understanding of what was known by many as the ‘dark ages’. The incredible craftsmanship shown in grave goods unearthed over the summer of 1939 showed that the Anglo-Saxon period was anything but a dark age. 

Sunrise over the Royal Burial Ground at Sutton Hoo
Sunrise over the Royal Burial Ground at Sutton Hoo
Sunrise over the Royal Burial Ground at Sutton Hoo

2019 is not just a significant anniversary for the site. It has also seen the unveiling of the first elements of the new Sutton Hoo experience as part of a £4million National Lottery Heritage Funded project Releasing the Sutton Hoo Story. This project has enabled the National Trust to create an experience that helps visitors discover more about this internationally significant site and how its stories have captured the imaginations of people the world over. From revamped displays in the High Hall exhibition and Tranmer House through to new walks and a sculpture representing the full scale of the Great Ship Burial, the project would not have been possible without the support of National Trust members and visitors. The next stage to be unveiled, in early 2020, will be a 17-metre high observation tower giving views over the entire burial ground and to the River Deben beyond, revealing the fascinating story of this evocative landscape.

Meeting the replica helmet at Sutton Hoo
The replica helmet at Sutton Hoo
Meeting the replica helmet at Sutton Hoo

With such an important year it was a delight to welcome BBC Radio Suffolk on 5 November 2019 for a day of broadcasts from Sutton Hoo. Their presenters toured the site and were able to catch-up with some of the volunteers and staff who devote their days to sharing the incredible stories of this place to visitors. From archaeology (both past and present) to wildlife; the Radio Suffolk team got to experience every aspect of this special landscape.
Their day of broadcasts has been edited in to a special 50-minute clip, available to listen to on the BBC Sounds page here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/p07t8ymx