Ship reconstruction moves forward

The Sutton Hoo Ship could take two years to build The Sutton Hoo Ship could take two years to build

A campaign to raise £1m to reconstruct the Sutton Hoo Ship has received the backing of a British Museum lead curator.

Gareth Williams, who specialises in Anglo-Saxon and Viking coinage and has an interest in experimental archaeology, is supporting the ‘Make Ship Happen’ campaign that has been launched by the Sutton Hoo Ship's Company to help fund the project.

All that was left of the 90ft royal ship that was buried with gold 13 centuries ago were markings in the sand but It is hoped that the ghost ship can be bought to life through the use of digital plans and CGI images.

“This is an incredible exciting project,” said Gareth. “There has been some very successful work done building replicas and reconstructions of Viking ships in the past – and even smaller versions of the Anglo-Saxon ship from Sutton Hoo.”

Reconstruction

“But this is the first time anyone has attempted to build a full-scale reconstruction of this vessel – and test it on water.”

It is anticipated the vessel will take two years to build at the site of the former Whisstocks Boatyard in Woodbridge.

“We cannot wait to watch this magnificent vessel slide down the slipway into the river, before making the maiden voyage,” added Philip Leech, chairman and director of the Sutton Hoo Ship's Company. “We hope this ship will provide key insights into Anglo-Saxon construction, skills and seamanship.”

Once complete the full-size replica is set to be used as a movable educational exhibition.

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