£8M Whisstocks development paves way for Sutton Hoo replica to be built in Woodbridge
The Woodbridge Riverside Trust has launched a campaign that will see a full scale replica of the Sutton Hoo AngloSaxon burial ship constructed in Woodbridge, spearheading a vibrant programme of community activities.
With planning permission granted for the £8M Whisstocks development, the Woodbridge Riverside Trust has launched its campaign to raise funds for the community boat shed which forms part of the development.
The 32 metre boat shed – known as the Long Shed – will be home to a fullscale replica of the Sutton Hoo AngloSaxon burial ship. The ship is the focus of an international living history research project headed by world AngloSaxon expert Professor Martin Carver. The construction programme will be community driven.
The Long Shed will also be home to an ongoing maritime heritage boat building training programme, and recreational programmes such as the construction of rowing skiffs to be used by local rowing teams.
Woodbridge Riverside Trust will be taking on the new boat shed, leased from Woodbridge Town Council, in spring 2017. The handover will be marked by a specially composed musical gala involving local schools and musicians.
Before then, the Trust needs to raise around £70,000 through donations, sponsorship and grants for fitting out the building.
The Trust will be putting on a range of events over the next two years where people can find out about what’s going on and help support what will be a unique new facility for Suffolk.
Andrew Fitzgerald, leader of the Trust, commented:
“Having negotiated for our years for our own community Long Shed and the use of the existing public space and waterfront, we now look forward to developing our projects.It’s been our dream to rebuild the Sutton Hoo ship in Woodbridge and I’m delighted that it’s finally going to happen in such an exciting new space.”
Events to promote the project will be taking place throughout the year, featuring AngloSaxon reenactments, crafts, games and Sae Wylfing, the replica AngloSaxon longboat currently being looked after by the Trust.
Confirmed events so far include:
- Weird and Wonderful Wood, 14-15 May
- Sutton Hoo Solstice Festival, 18-19 June
- Dragon Festival, West Stow, 25-26th June
- Suffolk Show, 12 June
- Jimmy’s Farm Beer and Sausage Festival, 23-24 July
- Ipswich Waterfront Celebration, 6-7 August
- Sutton Hoo Festival, October
Further details can be seen on the Woodbridge Riverside Trust website at https://www.woodbridgeriversidetrust.org and events will be added throughout the year, including art exhibits on the hoardings surrounding the building works provided by local schools and photographers.
Individual donations can be made via the website. Corporate donors are requested to contact the trust directly.