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See Rendlesham Revealed at West Stow

Rendlesham Revealed: The Heart of a Kingdom AD 400-800 will be on display until 23 July 2024

Rendlesham Revealed at West Stow 965x540

Archaeological finds from a popular exhibition at the National Trust’s Sutton Hoo, are now on display at the West Stow Anglo-Saxon Village and Museum.

Rendlesham Revealed: The Heart of a Kingdom AD 400-800 will be on display until 23 July 2024. Over 50 archaeological finds from the original exhibition are on public view, including gold jewellery, coinage, and food remains.

The display focuses on the main story of royal Rendlesham at its height when it was the power centre of the early East Anglian kingdom 1,400 years ago.

Suffolk County Council Archaeological Service is curating the display to celebrate the “Rendlesham Revealed” community archaeology project funded by The National Lottery Heritage Fund, made possible thanks to National Lottery players.

Councillor Ian Shipp, Cabinet Member for Leisure and Culture at West Suffolk Council, which runs West Stow Anglo-Saxon Village and Museum, said:

“We’re delighted to be hosting this display about Anglo-Saxon Rendlesham. Although West Stow and Rendlesham are at opposite sides of the county, both add to the story of the East Anglian kingdom.

“West Stow has evidence of a farming community living here between the 5th and 8th centuries. New evidence from sites such as Rendlesham helps inform the ongoing experimental archaeology conducted at West Stow, to try to better understand Anglo-Saxon life.”

Councillor Melanie Vigo di Gallidoro, Suffolk County Council’s Deputy Cabinet Member for Protected Landscapes and Archaeology, said:

“It’s wonderful to be able to share this display at West Stow, after the previous exhibition at Sutton Hoo was so well received. Local people in the west of the county will now have the opportunity to see these beautiful objects on their doorstep.

“I’d like to thank West Suffolk Council, West Stow Anglo-Saxon Village and Museum and Suffolk Institute of Archaeology and History, for supporting this exhibition, as well as the many partners, the local landowners and farmers for their support, and National Lottery players, without whom, funding for this project would not have been made possible.”

The objects are on loan from Colchester and Ipswich Museums and from Suffolk County Council’s Archaeological Service, some of those on display include:

• Gold and garnet dress accessories and weaponry fittings, used by the highest levels of society, such as warriors and royalty

o A copper-alloy gilt horse-harness fitting, with garnet and shell centre inlay with a zoomorphic interlace design

o A gold-and-garnet pyramid mount used on sword scabbards

• Gold, silver and copper-alloy coinage. More coinage of the 6th to 8th centuries has been found at Rendlesham than anywhere else in England, suggesting that Rendlesham played a crucial role in encouraging trade and the use of money across south-east Suffolk and beyond

• Imported objects from across Europe suggests long-distance contacts, gift giving and trade

o A gold circular pendant made of impressed gold sheet of a form which originated in southern Scandinavia in the 5th century

o An unusual silver brooch in the form of a horse-and-rider, similar to examples found in modern-day France and the Netherlands in the later 5th century

• Objects representing the ordinary population of farmers and craftworkers, including belt buckles, pins and weaving items

• Animal bone, the rubbish from butchery, cooking and eating, which tells us about farming practices and feasting

The temporary display is now open at West Stow Anglo-Saxon Village and Museum until 23 July 2024. Entry to see the display is included in the normal admission charge to the museum.

A virtual interactive tour of the original exhibition at Sutton Hoo is also planned in the coming months, including video interviews with the archaeologists themselves.

To book your visit to West Stow Anglos Saxon Village visit the West Stow website.

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