Sutton Hoo, River Deben and Woodbridge Tide Mill

2 March 2002

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The walk started from the "traditional" car park at the junction of the roads to Hollesley and Bawdsey, a few hundred metres south-east of the road to the new Sutton Hoo visitor centre, due to open on 14 March.

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The combination of the sandy soil (very prone to erosion in high winds) and farming for turf has left the hedges higher than the surrounding land.

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The National Trust acquired the Sutton Hoo site a few years ago, and has built a new visitor centre, where artefacts taken from the site in the 1930s will be on short-term loan from the British Museum.

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Mysterious "tumuli". In 1939, excavations at Sutton Hoo revealed the richest burial ever discovered in Britain, an Anglo-Saxon ship containing the treasure of one of the earliest English Kings, Rędwald, King of East Anglia. Further excavations, completed in 1992, proved the site to be a complex collection of burials, some royal, others possibly the victims of judicial execution.

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Part of the new works is this highly impressive and expensive-looking walkway, which appears to serve no purpose as there is a perfectly serviceable track right next to it.

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Turning away from Sutton Hoo...

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...and walking down towards the River Deben

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...passing some snowdrops in the woods

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Woodbridge and the marina come into view across the river.

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Panoramic shot from the river-wall. Click for a larger version.

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As the name suggests, there was once a ferry from Woodbridge across the river to here (which we can probably thank for the existence of this public footpath). Apparently there are efforts afoot to resurrect the service.

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Presumably not the ferry!

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Ferry Cliff

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The first time I've seen a ladder on a public footpath

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As the path climbs to the top of Ferry Cliff, the view opens out upriver towards Wilford Bridge.

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The white building on the left is the Tide Mill. A mill has stood on this site since 1170, powered by water from Wyllies Pool on the right (filled at high tide) driving the water-wheel in the black part of the Mill when the river is at low tide, the height difference between low and high tide providing the energy. The Mill is open weekends in April and October, and every day from May to September, 11am to 5pm.

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The River Deben, behind a reservoir. BT's research laboratories at Martlesham Heath are visible on the horizon.

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The last mile or so of the walk was dead straight along this "bridleway" which turned out to be a private tarmacked road.

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Turf farming - before...

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...and after.

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And from the other side of the river, the Tide Mill behind Katriana.

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Unless otherwise stated, all images copyright (c) Stephen and Lucy Dawson