Home news Whisstocks boatyard, Woodbridge, completes £15m redevelopment

Whisstocks boatyard, Woodbridge, completes £15m redevelopment


Work has finished turning a derelict boatyard into a £15m development which will feature a replica of the Sutton Hoo Anglo-Saxon burial ship.

Whisstocks boatyard in Woodbridge opened in 1926 and closed in 1990.

The redevelopment also includes apartments, a restaurant and a new home for Woodbridge Museum.

Michael Manning, from builders RG Carter, said it had been a challenging project, made easier by the “brilliant support” from the local community.

Woodbridge town clerk Chris Walker said they had a long desire to be involved in “turning an eyesore into an area of beauty”.

She said the town council would take on two buildings – Woodbridge Museum will relocate there from Market Hill, while the replica of the burial ship will be on show in the Longshed building.

Whisttocks is on the opposite bank of the River Deben from the Sutton Hoo estate, where the original boat was rediscovered in 1939.

Work on the replica boat, to be built in the Longshed, is due to start next year.

Developer FW Properties begun rebuilding in 2016 after consultations with community and heritage groups.

Director Julian Wells said: “Today is a celebration of all the hard work that’s gone on for the last six years or so.”

Claude Whisstock started the boatyard business in 1926.

During World War Two, lifeboats, fireboats and Admiralty launches were built at the site, and later one of the ocean-going yachts built there was bought by round-the-world sailor Francis Chichester.

His daughter Sue Cox, who wrote The History of Whisstock’s Boatyard, said: “By the time we were born, there was a thriving business going and he’d made his name building a lot of boats.

“I’m delighted that it’s all finished, I’ve followed the progress with great interest.”

Source: BBC Suffolk