News from the Sutton Hoo Ship’s Company

The Shipwrights’ Company has periodically given some financial assistance to the Sutton Hoo Ship’s Company who very generously hosted a party of Shipwrights’ to a fascinating and exciting visit to Woodbridge in 2017 shortly after the project began.  The Ship’s Company’s website states:

The Ship’s Company was formed in 2016 with the sole purpose of creating a permanent and authentic replica of the Anglo-Saxon ship. The team is made up of professionals, volunteers and enthusiasts who are working together to fully understand the dimensions and construction methods. The ship will be built in the newly opened, Longshed, a purpose-built unit gifted to the town and dedicated to the maritime history and education.

Philip Leech, a Director of the Sutton Hoo Ship’s Company has informed us that the keel blank will arrive in Woodbridge during the weekend of 17-18 April 2021 and writes:

As you know, in building the ship our objective is to extract as much scientific and cultural knowledge as possible as well as creating a beautiful object.  Professor Martin Carver describes our efforts as possibly opening a new chapter in English history.

Over the last three years (well, like everyone, two of them, in truth) we have made huge progress, with a digital plan drawn from the original excavation data by colleagues at Southampton University, building a 1:5 scale model and a quite massive 12′ midships section as an experimental rig to train our volunteers and work out rowing positions. We have, in the bank, several grants that we applied for in order to specifically train existing and new volunteers in woodworking techniques. This furthers the build and is a contribution to our community, who are closely involved.

After we lay the keel, whilst it isn’t exactly all downhill from there, we will progress quite quickly.

But before that we are running a crowdfunding effort.

We are aiming to raise £40,000, with a stretch target of £60,000.   And one of our sponsors has agreed to match every £1 we raise with £1 of his own.

The crowdfunding site has about two weeks to go.  I would be really pleased if you  would take a look at the site, which includes a CG animation and other videos The website link is Build the Sutton Hoo Ship – a Community crowdfunding project in Woodbridge by Annie Leech ( think it tells a good story.  There are some interesting “rewards” on the website, or people can just donate. The most popular reward is a signed book by Martin Carver.  Over 270 people have donated already but we need to increase both the numbers and the rate. Anyway you could help would be most welcome.

Philip Leech

The Sutton Hoo Ship’s Company, The Longshed, Tide Mill Way, Woodbridge, Suffolk IP12 1FP, UK