adapted from a design by George Bain based on the Book of Kells home Programme Bookings Shop The Wuffings .
Wuffing Education

Beowulf and the Exorcism of Heorot

The Evil Eye - detail from a painting by David Wyatt

with Dr Sam Newton

at Tranmer House, Sutton Hoo (map)
on Saturday 25 June 2005

We begin the day with a look at the account of the coming of the young hero to Heorot, the golden hall of King Hrothgar.

Beowulf’s offer to exorcise the dark terror of Grendel from the hall is graciously accepted by the king and we gain a fascinating insight into the dignity and diplomacy of life within the royal hall. We are introduced to one of the main female character in the poem, the noble lady Wealhtheow, Hrothgar’s queen, as well as to the mysterious Unferth the thule. We shall also consider the significance of the description of Beowulf’s armour as ‘the work of Wéland”.

As night approaches, the fear of Grendel grows and the scene is set for the hero’s great feat of wrestling exorcism.

"Something more significant than a standard hero, a man faced with a foe more evil than any human enemy of house or realm, is before us, and yet incarnate in time, walking in heroic history, and treading the named lands of the North.”


Provisional Programme
  10.00 Coffee on arrival  
  10.15 The Coming of the Hero  
  11.15 Coffee  
  11.30 The Work of Wéland  
  12.30 Lunch break  
  14:00 Grendel’s Last Night Out  
  15:00 Tea break  
  15:15 The Exorcism of Heorot  
  16:15 Close  

About Dr Sam Newton

S am Newton was awarded his Ph.D in 1991 and his first book, The Origins of Beowulf and the pre-Viking Kingdom of East Anglia, was published in 1993. He is a Director of Wuffing Education as well as a media consultant in Early Medieval Studies and Time Team historian. His latest book, The Reckoning of King Rædwald, was published in 2003.

Some suggestions for further reading
(useful but not essential)

Alexander, M. (tr.), The Earliest English Poems (Penguin Classics 1966)
-------------------- (tr.), Beowulf (Penguin Classics 1973)
Bjork, R.E., & J.D.Niles (eds), A Beowulf Handbook (Nebraska University 1997, 1998)
Fulk, R. (ed.), Interpretations of Beowulf: A Critical Anthology (Indiana University 1991)
Garmonsway, G., & J.Simpson, Beowulf and Its Analogues (Dent 1968, 1980)
Heaney, S. (tr.), Beowulf (Faber & Faber 1999)
Mitchell, B., & F.Robinson, A Guide to Old English (Blackwell 1986)
Mitchell, B., & F.Robinson (eds), Beowulf (Blackwell 1998)
Orchard, A., Pride and Prodigies: Studies in the Monsters of the Beowulf Manuscript (Brewer 1995)
Orchard, A., A Critical Companion to Beowulf (Brewer 2003)
Newton, S., The Origins of Beowulf and the pre-Viking Kingdom of East Anglia (Brewer 1993, 1994)
Newton, S., The Reckoning of King Rædwald (Redbird 2003)
Swanton, M. (ed. & tr.), Beowulf (Manchester 1978)


Please phone or email to check the availability of places and then send the application form and a cheque for £35, payable to Wuffing Education to:

Wuffing Education,
4 Hilly Fields,
Woodbridge, Suffolk IP12 4DX
(tel : 01394 386498)

Email cliff AT
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