East Anglia – Museums & Education


High Street, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP1-3QH

Tel  01473  433551


Ipswich is on the River Orwell being about 60 miles/97kms from the north-east of London, the town has been continually occupied since the Anglo-Saxon/Englisc era, its port becoming very important for East Anglia later England which has now moved to Felixstowe and to a lesser extent Harwich.                                                                    The name Ipswich is derived from the Medieval name of Gippeswic, either an Anglo-Saxon personal name or from an earlier name of the River Orwell, it was also known as Gyppewics or Yppowyche.                                                                The modern town took shape in the 7 -8th Centuries under the Anglo-Saxon/Englisc taking shape from around the dock area, there was a port in the Roman times but collapsed with the falling of the Roman Empire, like on the coastal towns of Europe but like in life it soon took shape again, trading especially with Scandinavia and the Rhine. Gipeswic or Gippelwich arose to serve The Kingdom of East Anglia, its early wares dating to the time of King Raedwald, bretwalda (616-624) whose famous ship-burial and treasures at Sutton Hoo nearby 9m/14.5kms is possibly his grave. The Ipswich Museum houses replica of the Roman Mildenhall and Sutton Hoo treasures. A gallery devoted to the towns origins includes weapon, jewellery and other artifacts.                                                                        The 7th Century town was near the quay, towards 700 A.D. Frisian potters from Frisia which is now part of the Netherlands, set up the first large scale potteries in Ipswich and England since Roman times, this trade was unique to Ipswich and traded their wares across England for 200 yrs, with this growing prosperiety a large new part of the town was laid out in the Buttermarket area of Ipswich around 720 A.D.,who was a place of national and international importance, where parts of the ancient road plan still survive in Ipswich today.                                                                    With the invasion by the Vikings in 869 Ipswich fell under their control who raised earth ramparts which surround the town in 900 to prevent recapture by the Anglo-Saxons/Englisc, this was unsuccessful  in the long run with the importance of the town it was regained by the Englisc where it gained a mint under royal licence from King Edgar in 970 which continued after the French-Norman conquest, until 1215 under King John. The abbreviation ‘Gipes’ appears on the coins.


Sutton Hoo

In 1939 Ipswich Museum was asked to send one of its museum assistants, Basil Brown to dig around some mysterious mounds on land at Sutton Hoo belonging to a Mrs Edith Pretty. The amazing ship burial he was to discover would become one of the most significant archaeological finds of the 29th Century and the treasures with it, including the Sutton Hoo helmet would become Iconic Images from the time of the Anglo-Saxons and put Suffolk firmly on the map.                                                                                                                                                                    Unfortunately the British Museum became involved and took over in a high handed way which is an unfortunate attitude to take when the find involves everyone, and so took the treasures to the British Museum to be locked up, instead of them being shown in Ipswich Museum and the Iconic Sutton Hoo where they belong, perhaps in the future they will give them back to the place where they belong.

The Boss Hall Brooch

1600 years ago Boss Hall at Sproughton in Ipswich was yet to exist but for one Anglo-Saxon/Englisc lady it was where she called home and it was where she was laid to rest in one of the richest graves ever to be discovered in the town of Ipswich.

The Hadleigh road Cemetery

The earliest Anglo-Saxon/Englisc lived and dies in an area we now know as Hadleigh road. Nearby 200 people have been buried here over a 80 year period, a road widening scheme in 1906 revealed what lay beneath their feet.         The warriors were laid to rest with their swords, shields and spears so they could continue to defend their settlement in the after life, whilst the women were laid to rest with their finery and pieces ready for the after life.


This is free.


Closed on Monday

Tuesday – Saturday   10.00  –  17.00hrs

Sunday                        11.00  –  17.00hrs


Extensive range of goods.


Drinks available hot or clod in a vending machine, but there are plenty of places to eat.



Ipswich station on the Liverpool Street, London line plus lines from around the country.


Bus Station is a 5 minute walk from the museum.


There is no car-park near the museum, but there is in the town centre.






The cemetery is a place of burial dated to the 6th Century located on Snape Common which is near the town of Aldeburgh, Suffolk.                                                                                                                                                                                It contains a variety of different forms of burial, with inhumation and cremation burials, being found in roughly equal proportions. The site is also known for the inclusion of a high status ship burial, which a number of these burials were included within burial mounds.                                                                                                                               The first recorded excavation of the site was conducted by antiquarians in 1827, with a later and more thorough investigation taking place in 1862 under the control of the landowner Septimus Davidson unfortunately  artifacts from the earliest excavation soon disappeared!, although important finds uncovered in the 1962 excavation including a glass Claw Beaker and the Snape Ring are housed in the British Museum, London.                                                     During the 20th Century, the heathland on which the cemetery was on, was given over to farmland, with a road and house being constructed atop the site. Today, the burial mounds themselves are not accessible to the public, although the artefacts uncovered by the excavations are on display at the Aldeburgh Moot Hall Museum in the nearby town at Aldeburgh.



Aldeburgh, Suffolk, IP15-5DS

Tel 01720 454666

e-mail  –  enquiries@aldeburghmuseum.org.uk



The Saxon settlement appears to date from the beginning of the 8th Century, some fifty years after St. Botolph built his minster at Iken and a hundred years after the Saxon cemeteries at Snape and Friston were in use. There is evidence of at least three post-hole-constructed buildings, one possibly a chapel and there were probably more. There are two burials on the site, one dated to c 740 A.D., the other to c 810 A.D. The earlier grave is thought to have been that of a female aged between 18 – 25 years old.                                                                                                               Groups of upright timbers in the mud bordering the site could have been part of a fish trap, maybe a trackway across the mud, or even a quay. The site showed no evidence of burning, which might have been associated with the Viking raid reputed to have attacked St. Botolph’s minster in 841 A.D.



The Aldeburgh Museum is housed in one of the most important timber-framed public buildings in England. Dating from the first half of the 16th Century the “Moot Hall” (it was called the town hall then) originally contained six small shops on the ground floor and a spacious chamber on the first floor. Drawing upon artefacts, documents, maps and a vast archive of photographs and prints the Museum displays a pictorial representation of the history of Aldeburgh from the earliest days until the present.

Snape Anglo-Saxon Cemetery

There’s a significant collection of items from the cemetery at Snape cross roads excavated during the Victorian era between 1862-3.


Adult is £2-00


April, May, September and October      Daily   14.30 – 17.00hrs

June too August     Daily     12.00 – 17.00hrs

Because of the building being Grade I listed it is unfortunately not accessible to wheelchairs.


There are places to eat in Aldeburgh.


Trains                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             There are stations at Ipswich, Woodbridge and Saxmundham.

Bus                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Service No 64 board at Ipswich bus station at stand E which serves Woodbridge to Aldeburgh.

Car-parking                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               There are parking spaces near the museum.








20th January : Suffolk`s Valley of the Kings:

Dr Sam Newton (Wuffing Education at Sutton Hoo)

An exploration of the largely forgotten  but clearly rich history of the Deben valley and its tributaries in the light of what we can see of its archaeology, art, place-names, and landscape history, and especially of the recent work at Rendlesham.


27th January : Collapse and Recovery : the Revival of Learning in the First Millennium

Charles Freeman (Independent Scholar)

Starting with the look at traditional Roman education, we shall consider early libraries, how texts were preserved from the Sixth Century, and how learning was revived under the Frankish King Charlemagne.


3rd February : The Oldest Extant Houses; The Homes of Medieval Rural Folk in East Anglia

Philip Aitkens (Historic Buildings Consultant)

A study of the little open-hall houses found in most of the villages of High Suffolk and of South-East Norfolk, the best evidence we have of Medieval rural lifestyle, varying greatly in plan-form, size and quality.


24th February : The Kingdoms of East-Anglia and Kent.

Dr Sam Newton (Wuffing Education at Sutton Hoo)

On the festival-day of the famous Kentish king. St. AEthelbert, we shall reassess the relations between the Wuffing dynasty of East Anglia and AEscing dynasty of Kent during the Sixth and Seventh Centuries, as indicated by archaeology, art, and documentary sources.


3rd March : Raising the Dead : The Archaeology of Anglo-Saxon Death and Burial.

Dr Richard Hoggett (Heritage Consultant)

Burials constitute a large part of the archaeological record from Anglo-Saxon England, and this study-day uses the rich East-Anglian burial record to explore the range of burial rites practiced by the Anglo-Saxons. Subjects to be covered include the human skeleton, cremation, inhumation, the use of grave-goods and the impact of Christianity. The day will be illustrated with examples drawn from recent and unpublished excavations, as well as some classic sites.


10th March : Death, Loss, and Dragon Hoards: Early Anglo-Saxon Art.

Dr Angela Evans, former Curator, British Museum.

The Anglo-Saxons had a powerful visual imagination whose legacy is seen in the decoration of their personal possessions, but interpreting the design can often be challenging. The day will be devoted to looking in detail at the background and development of the extraordinarily complex ornament on early Anglo-Saxon metalwork, then following some of the motifs to their adoption on early manuscripts and, finally, to their flowering on high status metalwork during the later Saxon period.


17th March : St. Patrick (c 380-c. 461) – His Life. Times, and Legacy.

Dr Maive Ni Mhaonaigh (University of Cambridge).

The fame of St. Patrick, patron saint of Ireland, is associated today with banishment of saints and (primarily in America) green beer. We will examine sources for his life, times and legacy and explore the making of this very famous saint.


24th March : The Story of European Armour, c. 600 – 1650.

Tobias Capwell (Curator of Arms & Armour. The Wallace Collection, London).

As a protective system designed to augment the human body, the history of European armour follows paths and patterns remarkably reminiscent of biological evolution in the natural world. In this series of lectures we follow the development of human exoskeletons across made than a thousand years. Watching as one remarkable species, the elite armoured warrior, evolves to survive in a dangerous and ever-changing environment.


21st April : Art and History in the Bayeux Tapestry.

Dr Sam Newton (Wuffing Education at Sutton Hoo).

An exploration of this magnificent embroidery, the most important work of narrative art of Anglo-Norman culture, and of the great story it tells in the light of early Medieval art and literature.



28th April : The Icelandic Family Sagas.

Dr Heather O’Donohue (University of Oxford).

This Study-Day will explore the Icelandic family sagas, with their detailed descriptions of daily life in early Middle Ages, their powerful stories of passion and revenge, and their extraordinary literary sophistication.





12th May : The Gold of the Iceni.

Jude Plouviez (former Senior Archaeological Officer, Suffolk County Council).

We shall examine the practice of hoarding wealth in the Territory of the Iceni throughout the period that they are historically attested as a tribal group in East Anglia, from the Iron Age Snettisham torcs to the huge late Roman treasures found at Mildenhall and Hoxne.



19th May : St. AEthelbert : East Anglia’s other king and Martyr.

Dr Sam Newton (Wuffing Education at Sutton Hoo).

On the eve of his festival dat, an exploration of what we can see of the history of East Anglia’s less well-known king and Martyr, AEthelbert. We begin with a look at the history of England and East Anglia in the latter part of the eighth century. We shall assess what we can deduced of the events surrounding king AEthelbert’s murder near Hereford on 20th May 794, and the part played by the Mercian king Offa and his queen, Cynethryth. We shall then consider the later history of the cult of St. AEthelbert.



9th June : The Staffordhire Hoard : An Unparelled Treasure of Anglo-Saxon England.

Dr Chris Fern (Heritage Consultant, University of York).

The Staffordshire Hoard, discovered in 2009, is the largest accumulation of Anglo-Saxon treasure ever found. It included hundreds of gold and silver fittings from military and ecclesiastical equipment. An extensive programme of analysis of these has just been completed, the findings of which we will consider, we assess what the treasure now contributes to our understanding of elite Anglo-Saxon society in a time of intensive inter-kingdom warfare and changing religious allegiance.



16th June : The Transformations of the Year 600 A.D.

Professor Guy Halsall (University of York).

This Study-Day will examine and try to explain how Western Europe was transformed in the later sixth and earlier seventh centuries. St. Augustine’s mission to England and the Sutton Hoo ship burial were part of major continent wide changes.


________________________________________________________________________________23rd June : Wonder-Women of Early Anglo-Saxon England.

Dr Sam Newton (Wuffing Education at Sutton Hoo).

On the festival day of St. AEthelthryth, the Wuffing princess and founding-abbess of Ely, we shall reassess female power among the Old English-speaking peoples. Beginning with a look at the pre-Christian evidence, we shall see how this appears to have been realized in early Christian England by the impressive numbers of saintly royal abbesses like St. AEthelthryth and her sisters, especially St. Seaxburh, queen of Kent, king-mother, and founding abbess of Minster on Sheppey, and St. Wihburh of Dereham, others include the extraordinary St. Balthid, who began as slave but rose to become a Frankish princess, queen, king-mother, regent, nun, and saint.



30th June : From Childeric to Charlemagne : Imagining Power in the Kingdom of the Franks.

Professor Leslie Webster (University College London).

During the day we shall consider Childeric and the earliest Frankish kings. Frankish princely burials of the 6th and 7th centuries; Frankish women – in particular Queens, princesses, saints and abbesses; we shall finish by looking at Charlemagne and the rebirth of an empire.



7th July : An exploration of the Wonders of Old English Language and its Literature.

Steve Pollington (Independent Anglo-Saxon Scholar).

This Study-Day is both for beginners and those with some familiarity with Old English. Starting with the rudiments of the language and its written forms, we shall analyse some sample texts, not just for the excitement of reading words written so many centuries ago, for example by Alfred the Great himself, but also to unlock the beauty of the language in action. Finally, there will be an opportunity to reflect on the echoes of the Old English language in current forms of English.




Wuffing Education Study Days give in-depth explorations for newcomers, enthusiasts and specialists in the archaeology, history, landscape, language, literature and art of medieval England, and of the Wuffing Kingdom of east Anglia in particular.

Each study day costs £38- for a full day of lectures from nationally recognized speakers, teas & coffee throughout the day, parking, as well as access to the NT visitor centre, exhibition and the Sutton Hoo.

Prior Booking essential – 01394-386498 ask for Cliff or cliff@wuffingeducation.co.uk
4,Hilly Field, Woodbridge, Suffolk, IP12 4DX.

reductions:If you are attending a Study Day and bring a friend (who has not been to any Study Days before) then they can come for half-price £19- Now – from 1st April 2011 – every sixth Study Day you book in half-price. More details on the web-site

they are constantly planning new events, which from personal experience are very good.