Beowulf, Sutton Hoo, and the Wuffings
with Dr Sam Newton (Wuffing Education)
at the Suffolk Punch Trust, Hollesley, IP12 3JR
on Saturday, 3rd November, 2018.

An introduction to the Old English epic of Beowulf and its implications for our understanding of Sutton Hoo and the culture of the Wuffings of East Anglia.  We shall see how its splendid language brings to life the bare bones of the archaeology and how the latter authenticates the golden world of the poem.

Provisional Programme

10.00 – 10.30:          Coffee on arrival

10.30 – 11.30:          The Golden World of Beowulf

11.30 – 11.50:          Coffee break

11.50 – 12.50:          Beowulf and Pre-Christian Burial-Rites

12.50 – 13.50:          Lunch break

13.50 – 14.40:          The Royal Rite of Ship-Funeral

14.40 – 15.00:          Tea break

15.00 – 15.50:          Beowulf and the Wuffings

c.15.50:                   Thanks and Close

About Dr Sam Newton

Sam Newton was awarded his Ph.D at UEA in 1991.  He published his first book, The Origins of Beowulf and the pre-Viking Kingdom of East Anglia, in 1993, and his second, The Reckoning of King Rædwald: the Story of the King linked to the Sutton Hoo Ship-Burial, in 2003.  His most recent publication is “The Forgotten History of St Bótwulf (Botolph)”, The Proceedings of the Suffolk Institute of Archaeology and History, 43 (2016), pp. 521-50, which can also be seen on, and downloaded from, his Academia  webpage, along with some of his other papers.  He has lectured widely around the country and has contributed to many radio and television programmes, especially Time Team.  He is a tutor for Cambridge University’s Institute of Continuing Education, an accredited NADFAS / Arts’ Society lecturer, and a Director of the Wuffing Education Study-Day Partnership at Sutton Hoo.


When asked at one of Sam’s previous Study Days ‘What was best about the day?‘ people replied:

  • Well spaced time wise. Informative. Handouts
  • Listening to some excellent lectures, laced with appropriate humour
  • Sam’s enthusiasm and knowledge! Thank you
  • The clarity of the talk and handouts. Excellent slide presentation
  • It was all good
  • Knowledge of Sam and ease in which he is able to impart expertise and answer queries. Hugely engaging and informative.


Some Suggestions for Optional Background Reading

  • Alexander, M., The First Poems in English (Penguin Classics 2008).
  • Bruce-Mitford, R., Aspects of Anglo-Saxon Archaeology (Gollancz 1974).
  • Bruce-Mitford, R., The Sutton Hoo Ship-Burial, 3 vols (London 1975, ‘78, ‘82).
  • Bjork, R., & J.Niles (eds), A Beowulf Handbook (Nebraska University 1997).
  • Evans, A.C., The Sutton Hoo Ship-Burial (British Museum 1986).
  • Filmer-Sankey, W., & T.Pestell, Snape Anglo-Saxon Cemetery: Excavations and
  • Surveys 1824-1992, East Anglian Archaeology Report 95 (Ipswich 2001).
  • Fulk, R., R.Bjork, & J.Niles (eds), Klaeber’s Beowulf, 4th Edition (Toronto 2008).
  • Garmonsway, G., & J. Simpson (ed. & tr.), Beowulf and Its Analogues (Dent
  • Everyman 1968, 1980).
  • Green, C., Sutton Hoo: The Excavation of a Royal Ship-Burial (London 1963; rev.
  • edition by Barbara Green, 1988).
  • Heaney, Seamus (tr.) Beowulf: An Illustrated Edition, ed. J.Niles (Norton 2007).
  • Lee, S.D., & E. Solopova, The Keys of Middle-earth: Discovering Medieval
  • Literature through the Fiction of J. R. R. Tolkien (Palgrave Macmillan 2005).
  • Newton, S., The Origins of Beowulf and the pre-Viking Kingdom of East Anglia
  • (Brewer 1993).
  • Newton, S., The Reckoning of King Rædwald (Redbird 2003).
  • Orchard, A., A Critical Companion to Beowulf (Brewer 2003).
  • Shippey, T.A., The Road to Middle-earth (Allen and Unwin, 1982; rev. edn
  • HarperCollins, 2003).
  • Tolkien, J.R.R., The Lost Road and Other Writings, ed. C.Tolkien (Unwin
  • Hyman 1987).
  • Webster, L., & J.Backhouse, The Making of England: Anglo-Saxon Art and
  • Culture AD 600-900 (British Museum 1991).