Iconic Ships 18: Sutton Hoo

July 2022

We continue our mini-series on Iconic Ships by looking at the magnificent Sutton Hoo ship – placed inside the burial mound of an Anglo-Saxon king in the seventh century in what proved to be the richest intact medieval grave ever discovered. The riches of the tomb are now on display in the British Museum and a fantastic new project is underway to recreate the vessel itself which did not survive the centuries, though enough evidence of it did to allow us to understand and recreate it in detail. This was a crucial period in maritime history in northern Europe when, in the aftermath of Roman occupation but prior to the Viking invasions, the maritime cultures developed their own tradition of sailing and oared craft. And yet it is a period about which we know very little indeed. This project is set to transform our understanding of Dark Age seapower. To find out more Dr Sam Willis spoke with Tim Kirk, Master Shipwright of the project, and a man who knows more about the Sutton Hoo ship than anyone else alive…

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