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

Art and Poetry in the Dream Ship from Sutton Hoo

sunset over the Deben

with Dr Sam Newton

at Tranmer House, Sutton Hoo (map)
on Saturday 11th February 2006

A day looking at aspects of the high culture of early England revealed by the archaeology of the Sutton Hoo ship-burial through its art and related Old English heroic poetry.

We embark with an exploration of some of the artistic and technical wonders found aboard great ship-burial from Sutton Hoo, the famous dream-inspired discovery made in 1939. We shall attempt to consider the implications of the brilliant light this discovery casts on Wuffing and early English culture. We shall then see if we can amplify our under-standing of the rite of ship-funeral through the high culture perspective provided by the epic of Beowulf - the opening movement of which culminates with a splendid poetic account of such a rite - and related Old and Middle English literature.

Provisional Programme
  10.00 Coffee on arrival  
  10.15 The Wonders of Sutton Hoo  
  11.15 Coffee  
  11.30 The World of the Wuffings  
  12.30 Lunch break  
  14:00 The Royal Rite of Ship-Funeral in Beowulf  
  15:00 Tea break  
  15:15 The Soul’s Ferry: Old English Ship Symbolism  
  16:15 Close  

About Dr Sam Newton

Sam Newton was awarded his Ph.D in 1991 and his first book, The Origins of Beowulf was published in 1993. He is a Director of Wuffing Education and Time Team historian and has been researching, lecturing, and writing on Wuffing and Early Medieval Studies for many years. 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 1966)
Alexander, M. (ed.), Beowulf (Penguin Classics 2003)
Bruce-Mitford, R., Aspects of Anglo-Saxon Archaeology (Gollancz 1974)
Ellis Davidson, H., Gods and Myths of Northern Europe (Penguin 1964)
Evans, A., The Sutton Hoo Ship-Burial (British Museum 1986)
Garmonsway, G., & J.Simpson (ed. & tr.), Beowulf and Its Analogues (Dent Everyman 1968, 1980)
Heaney, S. (tr.), Beowulf: A New Translation (London 1999)
Newton, S., The Origins of Beowulf and the pre-Viking Kingdom of East Anglia (Brewer 1993, 1994, 1999, 2004)
Newton, S., The Reckoning of King Rædwald (Redbird 2003)
Plunkett, S.J., Suffolk in Anglo-Saxon Times (Tempus 2005)
Tolkien, J.R.R., The Lost Road and Other Writings, ed. C.Tolkien (Unwin Hyman 1987)


Please phone or email to check the availability of places and then send the application form and a cheque for £38, payable to Wuffing Education to:

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

Email cliff AT
(replace 'AT' by '@' in order to send email - we used 'AT' to avoid spam robots automatically sending us emails)

Return to list of current Study Days


We have learnt of the fame of the Wuffing folk-lords of long ago, of how those wolf-kings held the ancestral land of East Anglia....
Updated 3 December, 2009
Website by
Adroit Solutions Ltd