West Stow set to launch Beowulf and Grendel adventure trail

Ben Ridgeon and Steph Paull at Grendels Mothers Lair, part of the Beowulf and Grendel adventure trail at West Stow Anglo-Saxon Village
Ben Ridgeon and Steph Paull at Grendels Mothers Lair, part of the Beowulf and Grendel adventure trail at West Stow Anglo-Saxon Village
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The country’s first permanent adventure trail dedicated to the story of Beowulf and Grendel will open at West Stow Anglo-Saxon Village later this month.

Two new members of staff are helping to put the finishing touches to information panels and are waiting for ‘Grendel’s mother’, the last of six large sculptures to arrive on site.

Steph Paull, a former history teacher, is the new heritage officer for learning and will oversee school and family visits, while Ben Ridgeon is on a year-long placement as a St Edmundsbury Borough Council heritage officer after working at Colchester and Ipswich museums.

A launch event for the trail will be held over the bank holiday weekend, August 26-28.

The launch will mark the completion of the 18-month project.

Steph 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.”

The Beowulf and Grendel Trail is 1km long and has been created through a partnership between St Edmundsbury Borough Council, The Friends of West Stow, the Breaking New Ground Project, West Stow Fishing Syndicate, Bury Schools Partnership, The Heart of Oak Company and six local artists.

Cllr Jo Rayner, St Edmundsbury Cabinet member for Leisure and Culture said: “I welcome the creative partnership that has produced such an evocative response to the landscape. There is something of interest for everyone, on every visit.”