16 August 2011

FAMILY - An ancient ship

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We headed a little further south today, visiting the Sutton Hoo Saxon burial and returning via the charming little town of Woodbridge.

Excavating the Sutton Hoo shipSutton Hoo is the site of a Saxon ship burial. The site is owned by the National Trust and includes the area containing the burial mounds as well as the home of the owner who invited a local archaeologist to dig one of the mounds in 1938.

The visitor centre has a video presentation on the burial and a full size reconstruction of the dead warrior with his grave goods arranged around him. He is thought to have been Rædwald who ruled the East Angles and died in the early 600s CE. This was a time after Roman civilisation had faded away in what is now England and the Angles and Saxons had settled in the land. In East Anglia, they had already been living here for a couple of centuries and the Brythonic language was probably already fully replaced by a form of Old English.

The main shopping street in WoodbridgeDonna and I had lunch in the visitor centre, left the rest of the family exploring Sutton Hoo, and headed for nearby Woodbridge. Neither of us had been there before and we thought it was a delightful place. It has the advantages of being built on mainly high ground but including an area along the river Deben and easy access to the North Sea.

The main street is full of interesting little shops, cafes and restaurants and I found a book about the Battle of Britain that seemed particularly interesting as it is based partly on recently released material that was not available to earlier historians. I felt a little guilty (but only a little) because I left the shop and downloaded the Kindle version on my phone. Now I'm back in the holiday house with a cup of tea and have read part of the first chapter. We returned to the car via the marina on the riverside, then back to the house for the evening with the entire family back together again.

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