Staffordshire Hoard and Sutton Hoo collections to be united for major exhibition

Beginning this May, items from two of the most important archaeological finds from early medieval England will united in a major exhibition. Swords of Kingdoms: The Staffordshire Hoard at Sutton Hoo, will be showing original treasures from the Sutton Hoo Great Ship Burial alongside objects from the Staffordshire Hoard.

The exhibition will be held at National Trust’s Sutton Hoo visitors centre, and run from May 14th to November 29th. Original objects from the famous 1939 dig at Sutton Hoo, on loan from the British Museum, will be on display together with items from the Staffordshire Hoard and further Anglo-Saxon finds on loan from Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery.


This temporary exhibition has been put together by guest curator Chris Fern, an expert in the Staffordshire Hoard and will include 62 objects, such one of the gold and garnet shoulder clasps, gold and garnet sword pyramids, three gold Anglo-Saxon coins and a gold sword belt buckle. These objects are all usually on display at the British Museum, having been donated to the nation by Sutton Hoo’s then owner, Mrs Edith Pretty.

“It is wonderful to see these objects – the pinnacle of craftsmanship in their day, astounding in their artistic genius – returned to the kingdom of East Anglia where their story began,” Fern explained. “Through them we can glimpse a time when warriors and kings in widespread regional kingdoms fought for supremacy in an age of gold and of the coming of Christianity.”

Laura Howarth, archaeology and engagement manager at Sutton Hoo, added, “If having some of the original finds from the Sutton Hoo Great Ship Burial return to the site where they were discovered 81 years ago wasn’t special enough, to display them alongside objects from the Staffordshire Hoard is a dream come true.”


To learn more please visit the Sutton Hoo website at the National Trust.

Top Image: Hilt collar from an ornate seax hilt, part of the Staffordshire Hoard The Potteries Museum & Art Gallery, Stoke-on-Trent City Council


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