High Sheriff visits Sutton Hoo

Suffolk High Sheriff Geoffrey Probert with Sutton Hoo staff and volunteers in Tranmer House

Staff and volunteers at the National Trust’s Sutton Hoo welcomed a visit from Suffolk High Sheriff Geoffrey Probert on Tuesday, who chose the historic Woodbridge site as the final place he would visit during his year in office.

With the origins of the High Sheriff role dating back to Anglo-Saxon times, a visit to the county’s most famous Anglo-Saxon site seemed the ideal way to mark the completion of Mr Probert’s time in the role.

Mr Probert, who visited together with his wife Nella, enjoyed a tour of the Sutton Hoo exhibition hall and the site of the world famous burial ground believed to be the final resting place of the Anglo-Saxon King Raedwald.

Also on the tour was a visit to the Her Say exhibition in Tranmer House, the former home of Edith Pretty who instigated the 1939 archaeological dig that discovered the royal burial ground.

To mark the centenary this year of women first winning the right to vote, the National Trust is taking the opportunity to celebrate the women who helped shape and create many of the places it now cares for.

At Sutton Hoo, the Her Say exhibition reveals some of the untold stories of the women in its history and shines a light on others that we already know.

Her Say was created as collaboration between Sutton Hoo’s staff and volunteers together with youngsters from nearby Melton Primary School.

It will be the last exhibition at Sutton Hoo before the site closes at the end of September for work on a major project to transform the experience for visitors to get underway.

Speaking during his visit, Mr Probert said: “Places like Sutton Hoo are always very special to us and especially so as this is my final official visit. I was reading just last week about the history of the role of High Sheriff, dating back to Saxon times in 720. Sutton Hoo is such an important place in English history and it should be known not just as the burial grounds, but also talked about because history was born here.

“This has been such a busy year and we have met so many different people, which has been very enjoyable.”

Mrs Probert added: “It has been a wonderful experience for us, getting to meet many of the people here in Suffolk who are doing wonderful work in so many places.

“People give so much of their time as volunteers, and Sutton Hoo is just one example of that, we are so lucky to have people who generously give so much.”

The Her Say exhibition will be open at Sutton Hoo until September 30, when the site will close until spring 2019.