Suffolk

Sutton Hoo viewing tower plans approved

Artist's impression of the proposed Sutton Hoo viewing tower. Image copyright National Trust
Image caption The new permanent viewing tower will replace an existing, smaller platform

Plans to give people a clearer view of a historic Anglo-Saxon ship burial site in Suffolk have been approved.

The National Trust has been given permission to build a walkway and 17m (56ft) viewing tower at Sutton Hoo.

It has applied to the Heritage Lottery Fund for a £1.8m grant towards the total £4m cost for the project, which is due to be completed in 2021.

Sutton Hoo is believed to be the final resting place for King Raedwald of East Anglia in the 7th Century.

Suffolk Coastal council has given planning permission for a permanent tower to replace a temporary, smaller platform built in 2015.

The National Trust is also hoping to get approval to improve the welcome centre and build new experiences in the exhibition hall.

Image copyright National Trust
Image caption The National Trust's plans also include a new walkway through the site

Allison Girling, property operations manager at Sutton Hoo said: "Sutton Hoo has always been a place of intrigue and wonder.

"From how and why the Anglo-Saxons chose this place to bury their king and how their arrival on these shores and their customs and traditions have influenced English history and culture for generations - there are fascinating stories to tell here.

"We've been working on plans that will bring this place to life and will help visitors delve deeper into the true experience of this special place and the influence it has had both here in Suffolk and around the country."

Image copyright Helen Johns
Image caption A temporary visitor platform was built in 2015 to show the view from the burial site to the River Deben and Woodbridge

Sutton Hoo's history

The discovery was made in 1939 when the landowner Edith Pretty asked archaeologist Basil Brown to investigate the largest of several mounds on her property.

Among the many finds were the buried boat which contained the remains of a warrior's helmet, which is kept in the British Museum.

It is thought the ship was hauled to the site from the nearby River Deben.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption One of the greatest finds at the Sutton Hoo boat burial is this warrior's helmet, which is kept at the British Museum in London

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