Sutton Hoo (NT) is most famous for the ship burial, dating from the early 7th century, which was excavated in 1939. It is one of the most magnificent archaeological finds in England because of the quality and beauty of its contents. Subsequent archaeological campaigns in the late 1960s and late 1980s have explored the wider site and other individual burials. The Exhibition Hall has a reconstruction of the ship-burial, showing replicas of the many wonderful artefacts that were found, including weapons and jewellery, and the amazing helmet. The originals are housed in the British Museum for security reasons as they are so valuable and unique. The National Trust is transforming the site to give visitors an enhanced view of the whole area. There will be a 17 metre observation tower, and a full-size sculpture representing the ship. The Chelmsford group have donated £350 to Sutton Hoo recently for the purchase of Skype for Schools education microscope, and lockers for the research room.
There is a shop, and a café serving hot meals, snacks and cream teas.
Melford Hall (NT) is a stately Tudor brick building, the ancestral seat of the Parker Baronets, mostly constructed in the 16th century. It has had a chequered history since then, one wing being gutted by fire in 1942, was rebuilt after WW II, retaining the external Tudor brickwork, but the interior had a 1950s design. The hall was first opened to the public by Ulla, Lady Hyde Parker, in 1955, and subsequently passed into the care of the NT in 1960. Beatrix Potter, a cousin of the family, was a frequent visitor from the 1890s onwards, with many of her original delightful sketches and drawings now on display. Outside there are grounds to explore, and a secluded garden. The Chelmsford group have recently donated money to buy seats for Lady Ulla’s pond, and an imitation fire to bring one of the internal fireplaces to life.
There is shop, and a café serving light refreshments, cream teas, and hot and cold drinks.
Guide price: £19.25