Sae Wylfing is the half size working replica of the Sutton Hoo Anglo- Saxon ship – half size in length, but only an eighth of the size of the full ship by volume.
Sae Wylfing in the Longshed alongside the full-size banner of the Sutton Hoo ship
Waiting for the tide
Sae Wylfing at Maritime Ipswich
Taking part in Life on the Deben
On the water
On the way to an event
History and heritage at Sutton Hoo
Under sail - photo by Cliff Hoppitt
The Sae Wylfing was used to test theories of ship propulsion – sail or oars? / Ready to go: Sae Wylfing sits on a trailer ready for its next visit (by arrangement)
The Sae Wylfing (sea wolf cub in Anglo Saxon language) was built by Edwin Gifford in 1993 to explore ideas then current on the shape of the ship, and to test it as a sailing boat. It is currently being cared for by the Woodbridge Riverside Trust.
After 14 years of being on dry land, in 2017 Sae Wylfing was on on the river for filming of Life on the Deben, and as backdrop for performances of The King’s River.
In 2018 gallant members of the Woodbridge Rowing Club took visitors to Maritime Woodbridge on board for short river trips.
Sae Wylfing will be on the water in 2019 over the Easter Weekend in April and the Suffolk weekend in mid-June. Details will be announced later. There are also plans in development for a voyage under oars and sail from Woodbridge to Aldeburgh and Snape.
Sae Wylfing is ambassador for the Trust’s project in the new Longshed workshop on the Woodbridge waterfront – to build a full-size replica Sutton Hoo ship.
She is normally kept on a trailer, on dry land. Her job is to remind us of this part of our local Anglo Saxon heritage. Children are welcome to come aboard the ship, try the weight of the oars, and wonder about being on an open boat at sea! The boat is trailed to events during the year at a variety of venues – historical, social and educational – and she can often be seen at Sutton Hoo.
The ship is often accompanied by a band of Anglo-Saxons (re-enactors, that is), dressed in full costume, demonstrating the way of life of people living during that period. Coin making, weaving, grain milling and other activities are included in some events, and visitors are usually able to try out these skills.
Details of the Sae Wylfing visitor programme and demonstrations are included on the Events Calendar, accessible from the main menu.
More information can be found on the WRT Anglo-Saxon ship team website www.woodbridgewaterfront.co.uk.
Have some fun VOLUNTEERING at a Sae Wylfing event. There are several roles for volunteers, transporting the boat and getting her ready for display, guiding visitors on and off the boat, helping with craft activities, and more. Just a few hours or so will get you to the heart of the event!
If you want to know more about
- Sae Wylfing activities
- booking the boat for events
please contact the Sae Wylfing team on:
Some special thanks:
Woodbridge Riverside Trust is very grateful to Suffolk Coastal District Council for the financial support they have given towards the cost of maintaining and managing Sae Wylfing. This has been made available through the Enabling Communities Grants scheme.
Simon Skeet, MD of Melton Boatyard, helped launch the boat and recovered her to her trailer, and Mark Barton, owner of Waldringfield Boatyard, found her a temporary mooring for sea trials and filming. Their assistance was invaluable.
Sae Wylfing Events - diary dates for 2019
25 April Suffolk Schools Farm and Country Fair, Trinity Park, Ipswich
6 May Beowulf Festival, Woodbridge, Suffolk
18 and 19 May Weird and Wonderful Wood, Haughley Park, nr Stowmarket Suffolk
29 and 30 May Suffolk Show, Trinity Park, Ipswich
8 June Rendlesham Show, Rendlesham, Suffolk
21 to 23 June Suffolk Weekend in Woodbridge, Woodbridge, Suffolk