In the Longshed at Woodbridge on the River Deben in Suffolk, there is a palpable air of excitement as volunteers and spectators gather to watch history in the making as the Saxon Ship’s first 140-year-old oak logs are hauled indoors and gently laid lengthways on the lofting floor. When these enormous timbers are split and shaped, first with traditional wedges and wooden mallets and later with broad axe and adze, they will begin to form the first parts of the keel, the massive backbone of a magnificent recreation of the famous Anglo-Saxon grave ship in which King Raedwald was buried at Sutton Hoo more than 1400 years ago. Once the keel pieces are scarphed or joined with wooden trunnels (treenails), the 90ft ship’s beautifully curved frames will begin to rise and rise until we will see at last her majestic sheer running from bow to stern to secure the perfect proportions of what was once a royal vessel. In all the many centuries in which Britain’s illustrious maritime heritage has been fashioned by ships of war and trade and exploration, there has never been anything so completely captivating as this extraordinary exercise in public participation. The Saxon Ship is not being constructed behind closed doors in some strictly off-limits dockyard. She is quite deliberately coming together in a public place and with public participation so that anyone with a thirst for adventure and a will to learn, can come on board and make their own personal contribution. It is a privilege and indeed an honour to be part of this great project. The Sutton Hoo Ship’s Company is a registered charity, a not-for-profit organisation that has no government funding and depends entirely upon community support made by members of the public with a shared pride in our past. We hope to be able to reach out to people through positive and supportive exposure in the Media. We have some very compelling stories to tell. For all media enquiries email