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Campaign to build replica Sutton Hoo ship

A £1m fundraising campaign has been launched to build a full-sized replica of the 7th century burial ship at Sutton Hoo. Uncovered in 1939, it was said to be the grave of an early Saxon King, and was believed to have been buried about 625 AD.

The impression of the rotted ship’s timbers in the sand suggested it to have been a mastless, clinker-built rowboat about 90ft long, using around 3,500 rivets. Yet while the hull shape has been well mapped out, much is still speculation.

The replica will be tested with a crew of up to 40 rowers. They will also erect a mast and see how well it sails.

A half-length replica, Sae Wylfing, was built in 1993. But this was only one eighth the total displacement, did not properly test the concept, and omits the staggering impressiveness of the full-sized boat.

The build will be a staged appeal, with the first step offering sponsorship of 3,500 numbered metal rivets to hold the ship together.

Details of the project can be found at makeshiphappen.co.uk.


Thursday 8 August  | Andrew Denny  | 2.26pm, Thursday 8 August 2019

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