Exhibition at Sutton Hoo

The replica helmet at Sutton Hoo

Delve into the world of the Anglo-Saxons and discover more about the incredible objects unearthed at Sutton Hoo and what they can tell us about this fascinating period in English history.

Delve into the world of the Anglo-Saxons and discover more about the incredible objects unearthed at Sutton Hoo and what they can tell us about this fascinating period in English history. Face coverings are not compulsory but we recommend that you wear one in any area on your visit which is enclosed and crowded.

A time of change

It’s the year of the Great Ship Burial, and a time of great change for the Anglo-Saxons.

The people have just lost their king and their religious beliefs and practices gradually shift from Paganism to make way for Christianity. 

As you move through the Hall, you’ll meet seven of Sutton Hoo’s Anglo-Saxon residents, who will each shed light on what life was like during this significant year.

Fit for a king

Enter the central room in the High Hall to meet our King. Admire the scale of a life-sized map of the burial chamber he was laid to rest in. As you look at the extraordinary treasures he was buried with, you’ll begin to get a sense of just how important this man was. 

Explore the objects set in cases around the King for a glimpse of the true sophistication of the Anglo-Saxon people. Each extraordinary piece demonstrates an unrivalled craftsmanship, and features precious metals and gemstones sourced from all over the world.

You’ll spot intricately carved gold and garnet shoulder clasps, a handsome red shield and, of course, the iconic Sutton Hoo helmet.

A warrior at peace

Not far from the King, you’ll find a case that tells the story of a warrior’s burial. Laid out just as it was found during an excavation at Sutton Hoo in the 1990s, it contains original artefacts found during that dig, including a very fine horse’s harness as well as a shield, weaponry and a jewelled belt fitting.  You’ll notice our warrior is located right next to his horse, which was, in the 1990s, found buried in a grave of its own just metres away from the warrior, presumably so that he had a steed on which to enter the afterlife.

The Warrior Horseman's Treausres
Mound 17 treasures at Sutton Hoo
The Warrior Horseman's Treausres

Anglo-Saxon community life

As you move around the Hall, you’ll encounter a queen, craftsman, warrior, wise-woman, tradesman and slave, all helping you to build a rich picture of life here in 625AD.
Enjoy hearing their stories and exploring some of the artefacts found within this Anglo-Saxon community, from items used in day-to-day life, to those reserved for feasting and fighting.
Listen in underneath our ‘audio cones’ and you’ll also have the opportunity to eavesdrop as residents discuss the death of the king and its implications on their futures.
Moving stories
Keep an eye out for short films and animations dotted around the Hall to learn more about Anglo-Saxon life, such as: Which trade routes did these sea-faring people use to travel around the world? What fighting techniques were used by their warriors? Why were images of creatures often used within the intricate designs on metalwork, and what did they symbolise?  You’ll also be able to find out how the tradesmen of the time originally constructed the iconic Sutton Hoo helmet.

Hoo's counting...

•    1,507 - The number of miles the Byzantine bowl travelled
•    625 - The year in which it is believed King Rædwald died
•    37 - The number of gold coins found within the Great Ship Burial
•    30.5 - The height in metres from the River Deben to the Great Ship Burial
•    18 - The total number of mounds originally thought to have been present at Sutton Hoo
•    3 - Number of Anglo-Saxon ship burials discovered in England to date