John Crofts – The Woden Voyages 2020

We are delighted to have approved SES member John Crofts - The Woden Voyages as a SES Championed Expedition, which means that the aims and objectives of this expedition are championed by SES.


The Woden Voyages will recreate the voyages the Anglo-Saxon tribes made to Britain to settle after the Romans left c.AD 420-50. In an authentically recreated long ship, John and his Team will make two voyages. The first will follow the migration route of the Saxons from northern Germany, terminating at Westminster Pier. The second will follow the route of the Jutes from northern Denmark to what is now Hampshire and will terminate with the ship being pulled up onto Bournemouth beach (in total 2,000 sea miles of rowing). The project has clear and specific scientific, sociological and archaeological goals and experiments conducting tests into the microbiological and pollutant content of the North Sea will be carried out. The techniques of ancient navigation will be tested and the basics be subject to innovation as the voyages progress. This will add to the body of research in navigation without instruments and out of sight of the coast. It will be the first time (in the modern era) a vessel of this kind has made such passages across the North Sea.


The voyages will require stamina of the crews. A total of 2,000 NM will be rowed; three weeks at sea. There will be periods of boredom, which will be mitigated by period riddles and instruments amongst other entertainment for the crews. The ship will be donated to a charitable organisation after the second voyage is completed for youth training purposes. A school classroom tour will also be planned. A safety vessel funded by London Gateway Port will accompany the ship on both voyages.


The Woden Voyages will give a life changing experience to disadvantaged young people.


To support this expedition, please visit The Woden Voyages.