Exhibition at Sutton Hoo

The replica helmet at Sutton Hoo

We’ve been hard at work transforming our exhibition hall into something wonderful for an exciting new experience of Sutton Hoo. Discover what we’ve been up to with our completely redesigned – and renamed – High Hall.


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. His stunning regalia, suspended from the ceiling, casts its shadow on 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. 

Take time to 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

Take a seat in our Cinema Room to enjoy a film about life at Sutton Hoo in 625AD. You’ll discover where the Anglo-Saxons came from, the conflicts of power and religion around at that time and uncover answers to burning questions such as ‘Why were the Anglo-Saxons buried with their stuff?’

Keep an eye out for further 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.

Exhibitions programme

Throughout the year, we’ll be hosting a variety of inspiring temporary exhibitions at High Hall to shed light on the many other stories and discoveries across the world that connect to Sutton Hoo’s Anglo-Saxon history. Visit our Events page for more information on our exhibitions programme. 

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