About Me and My Works

After early experiences in archaeology and woodturning, I graduated from the University of East Anglia with a first in English Literature in 1983 and went on to research into the Old English epic of Beowulf. Supervised by Professor Michael Lapidge at the Dept of Anglo-Saxon, Norse, & Celtic at the University of Cambridge, I was awarded my Ph.D. in 1991.

I published my first book, The Origins of Beowulf and the pre-Viking Kingdom of East Anglia, in 1993 and my second book, The Reckoning of King Rædwald, in 2003.

Since 1986 I have been working as a free lance tutor in Wuffing and Early Medieval Studies (Old English Literature, Language, History, & Archaeology), running courses in and around East Anglia. I have also conducted guided site-tours to Sutton Hoo, Rendlesham, and sites throughout eastern England (for a list click here). More recently I have been contributing to many Radio and Television programmes, especially Time Team (see further below).

In 2002 I was a co-founder of Wuffing Education, and we have been running study-days at Sutton Hoo ever since. For our current programme, go to the Wuffing Education section of this website at www.wuffingeducation.co.uk

As well as that, since 2004 I’ve been touring far and wide as a lecturer for the National Association of Decorative & Fine Arts’ Societies….


Giving a lift to a pilgrim on my old BMW K75RT on the way to St Botolf’s at Iken, July 2000 (thanks to Alan Lockwood for the picture).


At the Opening of the National Trust’s Visitors’ Centre at Sutton Hoo, March 13th 2002, with Seamus Heaney, who gave such a memorable opening address (thanks to Rosemary Hoppitt for the picture).


Just back from leading a tour of the barrows at the National Trust’s Visitors’ Centre at Sutton Hoo, Summer 2003 (thanks to Jane Newick for the picture). In the foreground is my wonderful old work-horse BMW R1100RT


On site with Prof. Michael Alexander, April 2009, with my replica of the royal lyre of Sutton Hoo (thanks to David Addy for the picture)

Sam on Beemer in Gothenberg Autumn 2011

Astride my trusty old Beemer during my 1000-mile tour of Scandinavia, Autumn 2011 (thanks to dear Maria of Archaeology by the Way, Gothenberg Museum, for the picture)

Sam in Finnestorp sacrificial bog Autumn 2011 (Archaeology by the Way, Gothenberg)

Standing in the former sacrificial bog in Finnestorp, Sweden, Autumn 2011 (thanks to Maria of Archaeology by the Way, Gothenberg Museum, for the picture)


My academic presentations include the following: the Oxford Sutton Hoo Research Conferences (1987, 1988); the Sutton Hoo Fiftieth Anniversary Conferences [Snape, Cornell, & York] (1989); King’s College London Fontes Anglo-Saxonici (1993); Leeds International Medieval Congress (1994, 1997); Visiting Professorship, 3rd University of Rome (1996); Oxford Conference on the Anniversary of the Coming of St Augustine (1997); Sutton Hoo Society Conference (2002, 2009); NADFAS (from 2004); Gothenberg Museum Conference on North Sea Connections (2011).

Television and Radio

I have appeared in and/or contributed to the following programmes: 

AD1000 (Channel Four31st Dec. 1999; repeated on Discovery Channel) 

Ruins (BBC Radio 4Nov.5th 2000)  

Anglia TV News feature on Sutton Hoo (April 19th 2001)  

The Village (BBC Radio 4, 29th Sept. 2001)  

Making History (BBC Radio 4, 30th Oct. 2001) 

Anglia TV News feature on St Edmund (20th Nov. 2001)  

Blood of the Vikings (BBC 2, 27th Nov. 2001; revised repeat 9th Dec. 2002; also repeated on Discovery Channel)

The Long Search (BBC Radio 4, 27th June 2002)

Making History (BBC Radio 4, 19th Nov. 2002) 

Monarchy (Channel 4, October 2004)

Time Team Special: The King of Bling (2005) – on the East Saxon royal burial at Prittlewell, Essex

The Anglo-Saxon Lyre (BBC Radio 4, 27th Sept. 2005)

Time Team: Eastry, Kent (2005)

Time Team: Islip, Oxfordshire (2006) 

Time Team: Hooke Court, Dorset  (2007) 

Time Team: Wicken, Northamptonshire (2007)

Tony Robinson’s Series on the History of the Law  (2007)

Time Team: Knave Hill, Leicestershire (2008) 

Time Team: Portskewett, South Wales (2008)

Michael Wood on Beowulf (2009)

Time Team: Blythburgh, Suffolk (2009) 

Time Team: Sutton Courtenay, Oxfordshire (2010) 

Digging for Britain with Dr Alice Roberts (2010) 

Time Team Special: The Real Vikings (2010) 

Time Team: West Langton, Leicestershire (2011) 

Time Team: Bamburgh, Northumberland (2011)

Time Team Compilation: The Way We Lived  (2011)

Time Team CompilationBurials  (2012)

Time Team: Beadnell, Northumberland (2012)     – for a clip of my experimental attempt at playing a replica of the royal lyre from Sutton Hoo while reciting the Northumbrian version of Cædmon’s Hymn, see http://www.timeteamdigital.com/2011-06-01-10-52-14/updates-day-3/270-tt-05-d3-dr-sam-newton-on-anglo-saxon-music-and-poetry.html    or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g-nwqu76hQY

Time Team Special: Secrets of the Saxon Gold (2012) – on the Staffordshire Hoard.

Making History (BBC Radio 4) on the astonishing archaeology of the Iceni in Thetford (2016)

My Publications

(1) “The Seventh-Century Royal House of East Anglia: A Genealogy”, Saxon, 10 (1989), pp.6-7.
(2) “Beowulf and the East Anglian Royal Pedigree”, The Age of Sutton Hoo, ed. M.O.H.Carver (Boydell, Woodbridge, 1992), pp.65-74.
(3) The Origins of Beowulf and the pre-Viking Kingdom of East Anglia (Brewer, Cambridge, 1993, 1994, 1999) – see my book-section for reviews.
(4) “The Sutton Hoo Society Trip to Northern Suffolk”, Saxon, 19 (1993), pp.6-7.
(5) “Sutton Hoo and Beowulf“, Saxon, 21 (1994), pp.1-3.
(6) “The Sutton Hoo Society Visit to East Anglia’s South-Western Approaches”, Saxon, 21 (1994), p.5.
(7) “Wés Þú, Éadwin, hál! (An Old English Salute to Edwin Gifford)”, Saxon, 21 (1994), pp.4-5.
(8) “The Sutton Hoo Society Visit to Norfolk”, Saxon, 23 (1995), pp.6-7.
(9) “The 1996 Sutton Hoo Society Visit to Thetford, Ely, and Bury St Edmunds”, Saxon, 25 (1997), pp.5-6.
(10) “The Sutton Hoo Society Outing to Sutton Hoo and related sites in S.E.Suffolk”, Saxon, 27 (1997), pp.6-7.
(11) “King Arthur: a military history (Review Article)” Newsletter of the Suffolk Institute of Archaeology & History, 48 (1999), p.12.
(12) “AD 999” (with Paul Sieveking), Fortean Times, 129 (Dec. 1999), pp.40-44.
(13) “An Autumn Excursion to the Kingdom of the East Saxons”, Saxon, 31 (1999), pp.2-3.
(14) “In Defence of the Wuffings: A Review of Martin Carver’s Sutton Hoo: Burial Ground of Kings?” Newsletter of the Suffolk Institute of Archaeology & History, 50 (2000), pp.10-11.
(15) The Reckoning of King Rædwald: the Story of the King linked to the Sutton Hoo Ship-Burial (Redbird 2003).

(16) “The Battle of Newmouth and the Lost Viking History of Sudbourne. with a postscript on the place-name Orford“, Proceedings of the Suffolk Institute of Archaeology & History42 (2011), pp.292-299. https://independent.academia.edu/SamNewton

(17) “Sutton Hoo: Burial-Ground of Dissidents?”, Saxon, 62 (2016), pp.7-8. https://independent.academia.edu/SamNewton

(18) “The Forgotten History of St Bótwulf (Botolph)”, The Proceedings of the Suffolk Institute of Archaeology and History, 43 (2016), pp. 521-550 .https://independent.academia.edu/SamNewton

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