New trail will bring Old English epic poem Beowulf to life at West Stow Anglo-Saxon Village

A new Beowulf and Grendel Trail at West Stow Anglo-Saxon Village will be opened at the end of August

A new Beowulf and Grendel Trail at West Stow Anglo-Saxon Village will be opened at the end of August. Pictured are Ben Ridgeon, St Emundsbury Borough Council Heritage Officer, and Steph Paull, heritage officer for learning, at Grendels Mothers Lair. Picture: Chris Morris - Credit: CHRIS MORRIS.

It is cited as one of the most important works of Old English literature.

The West Stow Anglo-Saxon Village. Picture: Gregg Brown

The West Stow Anglo-Saxon Village. Picture: Gregg Brown - Credit: Gregg Brown

And now the story of Beowulf, and the monster Grendel, will be brought to life in a 1km trail through the Brecks.

The Beowulf and Grendel Trail, based at the West Stow Anglo-Saxon Village, near Bury St Edmunds, will enable people to learn about the epic poem and the Anglo-Saxon way of life.

A new Beowulf and Grendel Trail at West Stow Anglo-Saxon Village will be opened at the end of August

A new Beowulf and Grendel Trail at West Stow Anglo-Saxon Village will be opened at the end of August. Pictured are Ben Ridgeon, St Emundsbury Borough Council Heritage Officer, and Steph Paull, heritage officer for learning, at Grendels Mothers Lair. Picture: Chris Morris - Credit: CHRIS MORRIS.


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It will also celebrate the beautiful landscape of the area.

The finishing touches to the 18-month project are being put into place before the special launch weekend, which will take place between August 26 and 28.

The trail has been created through a partnership between the Breaking New Ground Project, St Edmundsbury Borough Council, The Friends of West Stow, The West Stow Fishing Syndicate, Bury Schools Partnership, The Heart of Oak Company and six local artists.

Steph Paull, heritage officer for learning who will oversee school and family visits, said: 'We're very excited about the trail as it opens up huge learning possibilities not only about the story of Beowulf and Grendel but also the Anglo-Saxon way of life, their beliefs and how they interacted with the natural landscape.

'The trail will appeal to schools seeking to develop English and History skills through exploring our literary heritage, but will also appeal to walkers and families enjoying the beautiful country park.'

She added: 'Last year, 16,600 pupils from more than 250 schools visited the village from all over the region, and the UK, including Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, London and Dover, and the trail offers another attrac-tion as the first of its kind in the country.'

Beowulf is the longest epic poem in Old English and is more than 3,000 lines long.

It relates the exploits of the hero, Beowulf, and his successive battles with a monster named Grendel and Grendel's revengeful mother.

Six large sculptures will be set in a different environment of the country park, an area of Special Scientific Interest - with the Lair of Grendel's Mother amidst wild hops and hawthorn.

The centrepiece is the Heath Dragon sleeping amongst native heathland plants and the final stop is the Burnt Hall emerging from the oaks and silver birch, all celebrating the indigenous landscape.

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