Tuesday, 19 March 2019

Treasure in Debenham?

The National Trust Anglo Saxon Burial Ship site at Sutton Hoo near Woodbridge has been shut all winter for "an exciting transformation". It was  certainly needed because how things were arranged before was pretty boring considering the uniqueness of this site.

Over the last month volunteers from Sutton Hoo have been touring Suffolk  with some of the artifacts (actually copies as the originals are in the British Museum) and information about how the new displays will look when it re-opens.

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As they were just down the road in Debenham Primary School on Saturday I thought I would pop down to have a look and to find out if they would be open again before my Membership runs out in July!

They didn't really have a lot to look at.........a few craft activities for children and some boards with artists impressions of the new entrance.
 The large metal representation of the helmet that was previously up high over the doorway will be down at eye-level........... much better. On the right of this artists impression you can see what will be a huge metal sculpture copying the remains of wooden ship which the archaeologists found in the original dig.




Below is the artists impression of the viewing tower which will be built to give a fantastic view of the whole burial site. I wondered how they would blend this in but is to be timber clad on three sides.



These are the copies of the treasures that were found in the ship burial, the amazing helmet


The solid gold belt buckle


And this beautiful shoulder clasp

All this skill and wealth in what we know as The Dark Ages!


This is what The British Museum says about the ship burial

In 1939 Mrs Edith Pretty, a landowner at Sutton Hoo, Suffolk, asked archaeologist Basil Brown to investigate the largest of several Anglo-Saxon burial mounds on her property. Inside, he made one of the most spectacular archaeological discoveries of all time.
Beneath the mound was the imprint of a 27-metre-long ship. At its centre was a ruined burial chamber packed with treasures: Byzantine silverware, sumptuous gold jewellery, a lavish feasting set, and most famously, an ornate iron helmet. Dating to the early AD 600s, this outstanding burial clearly commemorated a leading figure of East Anglia, the local Anglo-Saxon kingdom. It may even have belonged to a king.
The Sutton Hoo ship burial provides remarkable insights into early Anglo-Saxon England. It reveals a place of exquisite craftsmanship and extensive international connections, spanning Europe and beyond. It also shows that the world of great halls, glittering treasures and formidable warriors described in Anglo-Saxon poetry was not a myth.

They are going to be open in the summer but not all the work will be finished. I'll  go and have a look before my membership runs out but the Grand Re-opening is not until September.


Back Tomorrow
Sue

PS. Did you know there is only one factory in the whole country making dried pasta? No I didn't either until yesterdays local news...........it's in Norwich. They are making more than usual...... Just In Case, but their flour comes from the France but don't have a pasta panic as they have 6 months of flour in storage in Gt Yarmouth.

24 comments:

  1. That viewing tower will definitely be an improvement. When I went a few years ago I was singularly unimpressed - I could see no more of the lumps and bumps than I could at groung level.
    A shame it's not opening before July - I will just have to have another holiday that way next year, won't I? :-)

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  2. They currently produce pasta in Yarmouth, as they have done for years, and I have pictured it on my blog. The Norwich factory is a new acquisition for them to expand into. We used to haul wheat to Yarmouth for them. A woman one day rang me to complain about our lorries and asked me what it was we delivered. I told her it was wheat to save the world. She shut up then.

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    1. The report didn't say what percentage of wheat was imported and what was local.

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    2. Well we certainly delivered a lot there during harvest times.

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  3. What beautiful craftmanship and so well preserved.
    It makes me feel sad that in future generations all that will be discovered is old plastic buried and you can hardly call bottle tops and carrier bags beautiful. In fact going by what is left now on the verge side no one will have to dig very deep to uncover our 'treasures'!!

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  4. My husband and the kids have been there, but I had to hold the fort and look after mum, so it was pre 2007 (when she died). Perhaps we'll go and stay with K's brother in Essex this September and I will get to see the new exhibition.

    I didn't know about pasta being made in Norwich. I keep meaning to make my own, but life gets in the way!

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  5. As you say, Sue, amazing how they managed to make all these beautiful things way back then. I always find it totally gobsmacking how they could build cathedrals hundreds of years ago, without any of the equipment there is today. No wonder it took them years and years.

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  6. I went to see the collection when it was at Sutton Hoo on loan from the museum and it was spectacular. It is a fascinating site but more needed to be done with the outdoor stuff so I am glad they have tackle that aspect.

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  7. My granddaughter loves Sutton Hoo. We have been twice and she is pestering me to go back but will hold off until later in the season. Tranmer House on the site is also good - set up as 1920's with things that children can use and touch. Looking forward to visiting the Riverside museum in Woodbridge where they are building a replica of the ship. A lovely area for a day out. Pat C

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  8. Down the road from us on the way to Bury St Edmunds is West Stow Saxon village and in the little museum there are some of Basil Brown’s original field note books on display. The big find near here was the famed Mildenhall Treasure (now in the British Museum). When I’m digging in the vegetable plot I’m always on the look out for an astastonishing Saxon discovery, but so far just odd bits of discarded clay flower pots.

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    Replies
    1. I love West Stow when they are doing the re-enactments

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  9. Such amazing treasures and beautiful craftsmanship xcx

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  10. What a feast for the eyes, the craftmanship is amazing. My eldest daughter lives in Norwich but I didn't realise that pasta was made there.

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  11. Thank you Sue, I never liked to say but I thought Sutton Hoo was boring too and was so disappointed when I went. I don’t know what I expected but it is such an important site I thought that there would be more.

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    Replies
    1. We went when we were members when it first opened it was so disappointing and even a WWII day was a let down, went again about 5 years ago - slight improvement in the museum but still not making the most of the unique finds on the site

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  12. Only ONE factory in the whole country making pasta!!

    I shall stockpile, just in case ... haha. I do need to buy some though as I seem to have taken ALL the brown pasta to the Van and have none here at all ... I'm pining for pasta ;-)

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  13. I remember going in the middle of winter, it was absolutely freezing, and a rather miserable time walking round the barrows with some American friends. Glad they are trying to make it better, but it is a long way from anywhere;)

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  14. Thank you for sharing this. I just love to read about ancient sites such as this and see the items that have been found. You are fortunate to have so many such sites in your country!

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    1. So much history all around us - fortunate indeed

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  15. I think I've got more of an idea of the exquisite work on the artifacts from your photographs than when I visited the site. When looking out towards the estuary I feel very connected to the 7th century people who must have stood there and enjoyed the same view.

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