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Travel Back in Time With King Raedwald: Discovering Suffolk's Saxon Shore

25 May 2016 12:00PM

Professor David Gill, Director of Heritage Futures in the Suffolk Business School at University Campus Suffolk (UCS), has secured over £50,000 in funding from the UK Government.

The project, which has been awarded £51,000 in a competition run by the Department for Transport, will encourage visitors from London to visit Suffolk and its rich archaeological heritage by train.

The internationally important site of Sutton Hoo is central to the initiative. The site of the ship-burial was excavated in 1939 on the eve of the Second World War. The finds have recently been redisplayed in the British Museum, Britains top tourist attraction.

The project will develop a digital prompt that will encourage visitors to the British Museum to take the train to Woodbridge or Melton. Simplified information on how to reach Liverpool Street, timetables, where to change, and how to get from Woodbridge or Melton to the National Trust site at Sutton Hoo will be included.

The project forms part of a larger Saxon Shore initiative that celebrates the transformation of East Anglia from the Late Roman period to the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms. It will encourage heritage tourism to the Late Roman fort at Burgh Castle, the Anglo-Saxon church (on the site of a Roman fort) at Bradwell on Sea, and West Stow Anglo-Saxon Village.

It coincides with the development of the Woodbridge Waterfront adjacent to the railway station in the town. This new facility is due to open in May 2017.

Sutton Hoo has recently received a major grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund to enhance the visitor experience.

Professor David Gill said Visitors to the rich archaeological collections in the British Museum will be encouraged to have a day out in Suffolk. In just 100 minutes from Liverpool Street people could be walking along the Deben at Woodbridge.

Dr Will Thomas of the Suffolk Business School at UCS says "Tourism is extremely valuable to Suffolk. The Suffolk Business School is delighted to be supporting this initiative that combines heritage and tourism to make an exciting offer for visitors to the county. One of the strengths is that it is encouraging the use of sustainable transport."

Helen Wilson, Chair, New Anglia Cultural Board, says "This is a really exciting project which will encourage new visitors to explore a beautiful part of Suffolk rich in history."

Rail Minister Claire Perry said "We want to show the best of British to our visitors and Heritage and Community Railways are part of that package. I am delighted that this project is one of 17 national winners across Britain. I look forward to seeing the scheme develop, providing another great reason to visit Suffolk."