The rich range of heritage in East Anglia contributes to the visitor economy. In ‘normal’ times Ickworth is one of the National Trust’s most visited properties (with over a quarter of a million visitors in 2018). Norwich cathedral and castle are key attractions for anyone visiting the city.
But 2020 is not going to be a ‘normal’ year.
What sort of sites will attract visitors as the heritage sector starts to re-open? Will they be the out of the way locations like Binham Priory? Or the parkland surrounding Ickworth? What about the landscape surrounding the prehistoric mines at Grimes Graves?
This Thursday, 18 June 2020, Tech East and Norfolk County Council, in partnership with the New Anglia LEP and Norfolk Chambers of Commerce, will be holding Tourism + Tech, a ½ day conference aimed at helping tourism businesses recover and grow. One of the key questions to be asked is how can digital help to grow and transform visitor economy businesses?
Key speakers include Pete Waters, Executive Director of Visit East of England, James Kindred of Big Drop Brewing Co., and Jason Middleton, Programmes Manager at New Anglia LEP.
The postponed Heritage Day 2019, arranged by the Heritage Alliance, was held at The Tower of London in February 2020. The Parliamentary Undersecretary of State, Nigel Huddlestone MP, gave his first speech on heritage and tourism.
Some 450 delegates attended a conference at the Apex in Bury St Edmunds to hear about the results of the survey and excavations (2008-14) at the vicus regius of Rendlesham in Suffolk. One of the themes explored was the relationship between this apparent elite site on the Deben with the ship-burial site at Sutton Hoo. A further discussion was on the place of the former Saxon Shore fort at Walton Castle (near Felixstowe).
Sir Michael Bunbury, The landowner’s perspective
Faye Minter, How Rendlesham has been investigated
Jude Plouviez, Results: the Roman period
Christopher Scull, Results: the Anglo-Saxon period
Andrew Woods, Interpreting the early medieval coins
Charlotte Scull, Beasts and feasts: the animal resources
Kelly Kilpatrick, The place-names of a royal Anglo-Saxon landscape: a toponymic survey of Rendlesham and the Deben valley
Tom Williamson, Rendlesham in context: the changing geographies of early medieval England
Andrew Rogerson, Not always a backwater, the northern half of the East Anglian Kingdom in the 5th-9th centuries
Christopher Scull, Suffolk, East Anglia and the North Sea: the importance of Rendelsham in the 5th to 8th centuries AD
Martin Carver chaired the final session and emphasised the international significance of the discoveries. Christopher Scull outlined plans for publication (including an article in Antiquity) and future grant applications.
The conference was organised by Suffolk County Council with support from the Sutton Hoo Society, Council for British Archaeology East, and University of Suffolk.
The conference was sponsored by Suffolk Archaeology, Suffolk Coast and Heaths AONB, Suffolk County Council, British Sugar and the National Trust.
The International Tourism Studies Association (ITSA) Biennial Conference 2016 is taking place in Greenwich this week. One of the themes is ‘Heritage tourism in cities’, with an emphasis on UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
I will be presenting an analysis of visitor figures for UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Greece with a special emphasis on the period of austerity. One of my strands will be the city of Athens with the UNESCO World Heritage site of the Athenian Acropolis.
I will be exploring how heritage can be used to enhance the visitor experience in Suffolk at the Suffolk Inside Out conference at Trinity Park, Ipswich on 11 March 2016. (Further details are available here.) I will be using the cluster of Anglo-Saxon heritage sites that are found in the Ipswich and Woodbridge areas: Sutton Hoo, Woodbridge Waterfront, Rendlesham, the Ipswich Museum (with its Anglo-Saxon collections), and the Suffolk Record Office (with some of the Sutton Hoo records).
I have been working on the spread of board games alongside the consumption of wine. Board games appear in the iconography of Athenian sympotic pottery from at least the sixth century BC. Physical board games appear in burials in the Po Valley from the late 6th century BC onwards, often placed alongside Attic sympotic pottery.
The appearance of a board games, with glass counters, in the Welwyn Garden City Iron Age burial (and now displayed in the British Museum) may be an extension of this earlier phenomenon. The burial itself dates to the late 1st century BC. Scholars have mapped the spread of wine consumption across western Europe through the distribution of wine amphorae. But are board games part of this cultural impact?
My paper on ‘Heritage Tourism and Suffolk’ explored the potential of creating a narrative looking at the transformation of Late Roman Suffolk to the East Anglian kingdom. Suffolk has the internationally significant ship burial site of Sutton Hoo, the newly explored vicus regius at Rendlesham, the reconstructed Anglo-Saxon village at West Stow (‘England’s oldest village’), and the harbour settlement of Ipswich (‘England’s oldest English-speaking town’).
The slides for the presentation are available here.
The 75th Anniversary Conference of the Sutton Hoo Society was held at UCS on Saturday. All the tickets were sold and there was a waiting list for places. There were some excellent lectures that picked up on the theme of emerging kingdoms.
The 15th Cambridge Heritage Research Seminar is taking place this weekend. The programme contains a range of topics that take us not only to the Western Front, but also to the Italian campaigns in the Alps, the Macedonian campaign, and to Sarajevo.