Logo

Suffolk's replica Sutton Hoo ship the Sae Wylfing basks in London glory

PUBLISHED: 10:40 03 August 2019 | UPDATED: 10:40 03 August 2019

The Sae Wylfing standing proudly on display at the British Museum in London Picture: BRYAN KNIBBS/WOODBRIDGE RIVERSIDE TRUST

The Sae Wylfing standing proudly on display at the British Museum in London Picture: BRYAN KNIBBS/WOODBRIDGE RIVERSIDE TRUST

Picture: BRYAN KNIBBS/WOODBRIDGE RIVERSIDE TRUST

At 5am in the glow of the early morning sunrise, the Sae Wylfing set off for the capital city

The half-length replica of the Sutton Hoo burial ship was invited to the Festival of Archaeology Picture: BRYAN KNIBBS/WOODBRIDGE RIVERSIDE TRUSTThe half-length replica of the Sutton Hoo burial ship was invited to the Festival of Archaeology Picture: BRYAN KNIBBS/WOODBRIDGE RIVERSIDE TRUST

Being towed by a Ford Ranger, she arrived without a hitch to go on display at the Festival of Archaeology.

The 100-mile journey was seemingly plain sailing for the half-size replica based in Woodbridge, arriving at the British Museum in London in an impressive two and a half hours to be paraded in all her splendour.

The British Museum is world-famous for its invaluable Anglo-Saxon artefacts, most of which originated from Sutton Hoo.

They include gold jewellery, a feasting set, Byzantine silverware and an ornate iron helmet.

'King Raedwald' was also on full display at the festival dressed in all his finery Picture: BRYAN KNIBBS/WOODBRIDGE RIVERSIDE TRUST'King Raedwald' was also on full display at the festival dressed in all his finery Picture: BRYAN KNIBBS/WOODBRIDGE RIVERSIDE TRUST

Dr Mike Heyworth MBE, director of the Council for British Archaeology, offically opened the event by climbing aboard the 45ft imitation of the Sutton Hoo burial ship.

Nearly 20,000 people then went in to the courtyard to see the stately ship, with Roman soldiers in full costume and East Anglia's own King Raedwald in full regalia.

The trip raised awareness for the #MakeShipHappen campaign being launched on August 7 at 5.30pm at the home of the Sae Wylfing - the Longshed by the riverside.

The campaign is trying to raise funds for the construction of a full-size 90ft replica of the 7th century Sutton Hoo burial boat.

Bryan Knibbs, chairman of the Woodbridge Riverside Trust, accompanied the Sae Wylfing on her epic journey and was thrilled by the interest shown in her at the exhibition.

He said: "People of all nationalities came to the museum, so many of them asking questions. 'Where is the boat from? Woodbridge? Sutton Hoo, what is that? Suffolk? How big? The buried ship was twice as long and twice as wide? You are joking me?'

"And so it went on one after another."

Dr Mike Heyworth MBE, director of the Council for British Archaeology, offically opened the event by climbing aboard Picture: BRYAN KNIBBS/WOODBRIDGE RIVERSIDE TRUSTDr Mike Heyworth MBE, director of the Council for British Archaeology, offically opened the event by climbing aboard Picture: BRYAN KNIBBS/WOODBRIDGE RIVERSIDE TRUST

By the end of the afternoon, it was time to take down the sail and mast and get ready for the long journey back to Suffolk, arriving at the Longshed at 8.30pm.

Mr Knibbs said the trip was a huge success and concluded: "Foot sore, weary legged, with aching backs and very happy hearts from an absolutely wonderful day.

"Would we do it again?

"Yes, yes, yes."

Roman soldiers joined the display alongside our own King Raedwald in full costume Picture: BRYAN KNIBBS/WOODBRIDGE RIVERSIDE TRUSTRoman soldiers joined the display alongside our own King Raedwald in full costume Picture: BRYAN KNIBBS/WOODBRIDGE RIVERSIDE TRUST

For more information, please click here.

Latest Articles

Most Read