Saxon treasures goes on display today
SAXON treasures are finally due to go on show today when the official opening of the Sutton Hoo visitor centre takes place.Nobel Prize winning poet Seamus Heaney will be opening the long awaited centre in a ceremony open to around 150 invited guests.
By Jessica Nicholls
SAXON treasures are finally due to go on show today when the official opening of the Sutton Hoo visitor centre takes place.
Nobel Prize winning poet Seamus Heaney will be opening the long awaited centre in a ceremony open to around 150 invited guests.
The £5million centre on the outskirts of Woodbridge will play home for six months to ancient treasures unearthed from a buried ship.
Over the years it is planned that the vast majority of the treasures found at Sutton Hoo will be brought back to Suffolk for temporary exhibitions.
They are currently being held by the British Museum.
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It is one of the most famous archaeological discoveries ever made – a burial ground of Pagan Kings and what is believed to be the ship of King Raedwald.
Included in some of the treasures is a seventh century sword with a gold and garnet handle, a beautifully gilded shield decorated with a dragon and eagle and other gold, silver and bronze ornaments.
The famous Saxon jewelled helmet will also be on display at the National Trust centre.
Sunk into the floor as part of the display is a fibre glass reconstruction of a young man found buried with his horse at Sutton Hoo.
His remains were found during a dig in the 1980's and the man is believed to be an execution victim.
The centre will be open to the public from tomorrow and it has already attracted huge interest.
Schools and the WI have already booked summer trips there and doctors want to hold a medical conference at the newly refurbished Tranmer House.
Some people even want to get married there and a handful of people have already enquired about holding ceremonies or receptions at the spot which overlooks the River Deben.
Questions were raised at the beginning of the year as to whether the centre would open on time following a planning row over road access.