Recent archaeological discoveries at Rendlesham and the surrounding area will be going on display in September.
Venerable Bede, an 8th century English monk, described a royal palace in Suffolk which can now be identified as Rendlesham as the finds prove Rendlesham was home to one of the “largest and richest” Anglo Saxon settlements of its time in England as the estate centre for East Anglian kings.
Excavations were undertaken by Suffolk County Council’s archaeological service after nighthawks began looting through fields to find illegally search for treasure with metal detectors. Supported by the National Trust and The Sutton Hoo Society, over 1,000 Anglo Saxon objects, settlements and burials have been discovered between 2008 and 2014.
Rendlesham sits 4 miles away from Sutton Hoo, the burial site of King Raedwald. The burial ship was made of oak and after 1,400 years in the ground it has rotted away, leaving a “ghost” trace of where it once laid. The treasures discovered over the more recent excavations include bronze brooches and gold coins. The detail of the metal work and the metals themselves show the higher ranks of society - Anglo Saxons kings - would have lived in the area. Many articles uncovered hold little to no monetary value however they are priceless in terms of study purposes as they tell the story of more day to day activity in the life of an Anglo Saxon.
With close to 4,000 finds revealed over the course of the excavations some of which date as far back as Prehistoric times, but also show that Rendlesham was a favoured location from the Iron Age, to the Roman and Anglo Saxon periods and beyond. Evidence also suggests that there may have been a temple at Rendlesham on the site of St Gregory’s Church now stands. Finds also indicate there would have been a palace at Rendlesham, where Anglo Saxon kings would have entertained, feasted and administered justice.
There will be a conference held at The Apex in Bury St Edmunds on Saturday 24th September which will run from 10am to 5pm. The conference will detail the results of the investigations and will include a panel of speakers made up of professors Chris Scull and Tom Williamson as well as local archaeologists who will discuss the potential of this now internationally important site.
Tickets are £20 and include tea and coffee and a buffet lunch.