As discussed in previous posts here about my past research on the early medieval mortuary practices and here about the playground and ‘play’ elements of the visitor centre, I recently revisited Sutton Hoo.
The best aspect by far as an opportunity to meet up again with Paul Mortimer who, in his garb, weapons and helmet as ‘Raedwald’, escorted us around the mounds and introduced me to the many staff and members of the Sutton Hoo Society whom we encountered.
This brief post is to thank Paul for giving up his time to meet me and two of my kids. Also, while his visit to Chester earlier this year, as discussed here, was informative and entertaining for me and my Cestrian staff and students, seeing Paul dressed up in the context of the mounds and landscape of Sutton Hoo was an unparalleled and memorable experience.
Paul’s persona permeates the visitor centre. For instance, he appears on the film in the exhibition hall, and in the guide book. He has become a living, breathing and striding manifestation of the ‘treasure’ found in the Mound 1 chambered ship-burial. It was also great to watch him approach groups of visitors and introduce himself in Old English and then show them his weapons and artefacts.
My kids certainly enjoyed his persona to the upmost, from meeting the ‘sand body’, standing on to of Mound 1, spearing leaves and examing buckles and weapons.
So thanks Paul, and here are some photos to memorialise the visit.