National Trust strike back at Hoo critic
SUTTON Hoo has hit the headlines again after a national journalist claimed it is nothing more than an "ace visitor centre with some nice bumps thrown in.
SUTTON Hoo has hit the headlines again after a national journalist claimed it is nothing more than an "ace visitor centre with some nice bumps thrown in."
Giles Worsley claimed, in the Daily Telegraph this week, that the £5.3m visitor centre has now become the main attraction, detracting from the ancient burial mounds themselves.
He spoke to a guide at the centre who told him some visitors did not even bother to walk to the mounds.
Worsley writes: "The visitor centre has become the attraction in its own right, an excuse for a nice outing and a cup of tea.
"This would be less of a problem if there were something really worth seeing in the visitor centre."
Mr Worsley bemoans the fact that the majority of the original treasure remains locked up in the British Museum and all Sutton Hoo has to offer is replicas.
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Katy Evans, regional press officer for the National Trust, said: "The point of treasure that was found is that they are owned by the nation, this is why they are kept in the British Museum, but the National Trust have their best to provide replicas of the highest quality.
"The centre provides a whole experience for visitors and we do have large numbers of people taking guided tours of the mounds."
In the Telegraph's letters page yesterday The National Trust today struck back at Worsley's claims.
Their letter argued that the site's 200,000 visits last year were evidence that "the National Trust and Heritage Lottery Fund have engaged thousands of people to learn about the mysteries of the burial mounds and the Dark Age past."