The Dig location: Where was The Dig filmed? Inside the real-life town of Sutton Hoo

The Dig: Carey Mulligan and Ralph Fiennes star in Netflix trailer

The Dig has impressed history and movie fans alike since it landed on Netflix just before the end of January. The film follows the events of an archaeological dig in Sutton Hoo which amazed those excavating, and continues to spark wonder in those viewing the artefacts. But where was the film made, and does Sutton Hoo play a part?

Where was The Dig filmed?

While the famous archaeological excavation took place in Sutton Hoo, the area is not the only one which features in Netflix’s version of events.

Instead, much of the filming took place in the village of Shackleford in Surrey.

Norney Grange, a listed building in the area, was built at the turn of the 20th century and has been used in the film to depict Edith Pretty’s house at Sutton Hoo.

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The house is stone and was designed by Charles Voysey, a renowned architect and textile designer of the time.

As for the dig itself, the home of Sutton Hoo, Suffolk, is the main location used to film the excavations, with much of the filming taking place near to the original discovery site.

Sutton Hoo currently has an exhibition hall and visitor centre, run by the National Trust, and the site has been excavated a number of times since the first in 1938,

However, as the site itself is still important for archaeological purposes, the original site itself could not be used for filming.

It was recreated nearby, and one scientist has spoken about the incredible reimagining of that original site.

Dr Sue Brunning, Curator of Early Medieval Europe Collections at the British Museum, said: “We had a few people from the cast and crew come to the museum to have a look at our archives and do some research.

“We also had the art director and the man who made some of the props.

“They appear to have put those into excellent practice.

“The reconstruction of the excavation is incredible. I’ve been to the set, I was imagining it would be a section of the ship.”

The findings at Sutton Hoo, many of which are held in the British Museum today, were hugely important in helping experts to gain a greater understanding of the era.

Dr Brunning added: “It changed our understanding of the period completely.

“There have been other discoveries from this period, but they are quite well-known too.

“The key one is the Staffordshire Hoard which actually has quite a lot of links to Sutton Hoo – the metalwork has a lot of parallels.

“That is a good example that there are, undoubtedly, more discoveries to be made.”

According to Dr Brunning, the recreation of the site, as well as Ralph Fiennes’ portrayal of self-taught archaeologist Basil Brown, have made the film feel as close to the real thing as can be done.

The Dig is on Netflix now

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