My Favourite History Place: Sutton Hoo


By Rosemary Hunter, published 19th November 2013

A Secret Uncovered, A Mystery Unsolved

Sutton Hoo is a sandy heathland overlooking the estuary of the River Deben in Suffolk. In Old English a ‘hoo' is a promontory, ‘sutton' is southern, and ‘tun' is a settlement. Historians have known for years that the fields were farmed in the Iron Age, but what, if anything, lay beneath a cluster of grassy mounds remained a secret for at least 1,300 years.

Mrs Edith Pretty who owned the Estate in the 1930's lived at Tranmer House. She was interested in archaeology and was also a spiritualist. One evening she looked out of her drawing-room window and vowed ghostly warriors were standing on the mounds. Ipswich Museum agreed to send an archaeologist to start excavations in the summer of 1938...

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