Royal Burial Ground Frost (C) National Trust Images Robin Pattinson

The Netflix film ‘The Dig’ has been a been a huge hit so far and many are wondering about the true history of it, after being released on the streaming platform on the 29th of January.

The film is based the 2007 John Preston novel ‘The Dig’ and the true events of unearthing the Anglo Saxon burial mounds at Sutton Hoo, near Woodbdrige in Suffolk.

The Simon Stone film follows Suffolk born and self taught archiologist Basil Brown (Ralph Fiennes) and his important contribution to the finding of the Anglo Saxon burial tomb and ship at Sutton Hoo.

It has been recently recognised that Mr Brown was the one who discovered the ship under the employment of Edith Pretty, owner of the Sutton Hoo estate.

Tranmer House at Sutton Hoo, Suffolk (c) National Trust Images Robin Pattinson

Many local residents of Diss on the Norfolk-Suffolk border were eager to spot what was meant to be the old post office on Denmark Street, Fair Green, in the rural Market town. But, is this really where Basil Brown lived? And, was it the actual post office?

The actual old post office in Diss was not used in the film. The post office used for filming was in Shackleford Village Shop and Post Office, near Godalming in Surrey.

In the film Mrs Pretty’s son, Robert, rides from Sutton Hoo to Diss in a very short period of time. something, that could be artistic licence.

map of Rickinghall and Basil Brown Close, Suffolk, England

Basil Brown actually lived a village very close to the Diss area, in the Suffolk village of Rickinghall, where he grew up on his dads farm and later with his wife Dorothy May Oldfield. Now there is a street named after Mr Brown in the village.

Josh Ward, senior visitor experience officer at Sutton Hoo Nattion Trust, talks about why its only recently that Basil Brown has been commended for his efforts.

Sutton Hoo are hoping that this film will encourage more visitors, including locals, when Covid restrictions are lifted and Josh Wards says,”our key role at the moment is exploring the true story behind it.”

There will be a live talk on twitter on Thurday the 4th of February to answer many historic questions about the film and the site itself.

A video with more information on ‘The Dig’ here.