Sysco Productions

Sutton Hoo: Releasing the Sutton Hoo Story

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Sutton Hoo is an awe-inspiring Anglo-Saxon royal burial site. Considered one of the greatest archaeological discoveries of all time, the Great Ship Burial that's thought to be the final resting place of an Anglo-Saxon king was uncovered in 1939. 

Photo courtesy of Sutton Hoo, National Trust © Phil Morley

Photo courtesy of Sutton Hoo, National Trust © Phil Morley


Sysco collaborated with Vinci, The Hub, Nissen Richards and Elbow Productions on the audiovisual narratives within the High Hall Exhibition Hall and Tranmer House, the former home of Edith Pretty who instigated the dig that would lead to the discoveries.

Photo courtesy of Sutton Hoo, National Trust © Phil Morley

Photo courtesy of Sutton Hoo, National Trust © Phil Morley

Built in 1910, Tranmer House has been reinvigorated with new exhibits that explore a timeline of multiple discoveries, the ongoing research at Sutton Hoo and other archaeological sites. The character of the house has been retained and its history revealed, with subtle cues from audio and visual interactives throughout. Divided across four spaces, the audiovisual scope spans the Lounge Hall, Dining Room, Drawing Room and Discovery Room to enhance the visitor engagement.

Entering through the Lounge Hall, two touch screens with single setworks speakers are housed within a freestanding plinth and a desk monitor to deliver archive material. Situated above the feature fireplace, a ceiling mounted projector shares video footage, news stories and background visuals that help to set the scene. The nearby Drawing Room houses two audio tables with speakers disguised within, allowing visitors to listen to audio interviews in connection with the corresponding postcard images laid on top.

Continuing through to the Dining Room, two projectors are mounted inside custom made replicas that have been concisely designed to perfectly fit the projectors’ size, ventilation and access requirements. A 49” touch screen is mounted behind on a setworks plinth to complete the animation of all three walls. All interactives are cleverly housed and integrated to deliver a blended experience that seeks to maintain the authenticity of this historical house. 

The final installment within Tranmer House, is the Discovery Room which serves as a multi-functional space where staff can host meetings and school groups can gather and utilise the presentation facilities including laser projection.

High Hall transports visitors to the vibrant Anglo-Saxon world of Sutton Hall where visitors are invited to meet the people that surrounded the King and his court. A multi-experience space, visitors can delve further into the chronicles, exploring different themes all enhanced with film, audio and animation.

Large scale projection welcomes visitors with a cinematic introduction to the story. Additionally, a burial film displayed on the interior curved wall delivers an impactful backdrop to the stunning helmet masterpiece. Single directional speakers mounted above benches throughout the exhibition immerse visitors in the narrative, all of which are further complemented by the surrounding films and animation that act to complete the story.

The successful integration of audiovisual layers has brought to life this historical narrative, allowing the audience to engage and connect with the associated themes. Furthermore, these renovated spaces are now fully automated, to vastly improve and optimise the operating system, enabling audiovisual programming to be specifically customised around the visitor experience and opening hours.