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.



Study-days held at Brittens-Pears School of Music, Aldeburgh, Suffolk.


19th January – Raedwald the Great First King of England

with Dr Sam Newton (Wuffing Education)

Raedwald was one of the English overlords listed by Bede in his eighth-century Historia Ecclesiastica. Prior to Raedawald’s day, these overlords seemed to have ruled only south of the Humber. Following his victory of the Battle of the River Idle  in 617, Readwald was able to extend his power north of the Humber as well. Although Bede does not state it explicitly when we unravel his narrative and reorder the events to which he refers in a chronological order the inference emerges that Raedwald was the first high king of the English speaking peoples in Britain.


26th January – The rise of Byzantium 359 – 800 A.D.

with Charles Freeman (Independent Scholar)

This study-day will explore how the Eastern ‘Roman’ Empire of Byzantium established itself between 350 and 800 A.D., as a very different kind of empire from the one ruled previously by Rome.


2nd February – Sweyn Forkbeard and Rise of the cult of St. Edmund.

with Dr Sam  Newton (Wuffing Education)

Today is the 1005th anniversary of the sudden death of the victorious Danish king Sweyn Forkbeard. The story soon arose that he had been struck down by St. Edmund because he tried to exhort tribute from his abbey. Certainly Sweyn’s young son Cnut made sure he honoured St. Edmund by building him a new shrine, which was consecrated in 1032 on the anniversary of his kingdom-winning victory ay Assandun in Essex in 1016. The belief that St. Edmund had caused the death of Sweyn gave a huge boost to the saint’s prestige. We shall reconsider these events and chart the rise of the cult of this most notable royal saint, some of the legacy of which is still with us.

9th February – Money in Anglo-Saxon England.

with Dr Rory Naismith (King’s College Cambridge)

A study-day with a world class specialist in early medieval economics exploring the origins of the penny and pound as well as how they were used alongside other coins, denominations and units of account between the fifth and eleventh centuries.

2nd March – Medieval Graffiti: A window into the past

with Matthew Champion (Norfolk & Suffolk Medieval Graffiti Survey)

Recent archaeological research has revealed that the walls of our medieval English churches are covered in thousands of early graffiti inscriptions, markings that can shed new light on the hopes, fears, and dreams of the medieval congregations.

9th March – Pre-Christian gods of Old England in Art and Literature

with Steve Pollington (Independent Scholar)

An exploration of Pre-Christian gods of Anglo-Saxons, who they were, who worshipped them and how. Evidence from England will be supplemented with Scandinavian and Continental material. The strengths and weaknesses of Per-Christian culture will be examined alongside the impetus to Christian conversion.

16th March – Medieval Ireland Story and History

with Dr Maive Ni Mhaonnaigh (University of Cambridge).

Medieval Ireland boasts a rich and varied literacy heritage. Drawing on its colourful heroes and anti-heroes, kings and goddesses their deeper meanings will be examined, as well as the light they cast on the society of the time.

23rd March – The Paston  family and their East Anglia

with Dr Elizabeth Mc Donald (University of East Anglia)

The Pastons left one of the largest collections of private letters of fifteenth century England. We will use this rich archive to follow the Pastons as they climbed the social ladder from freemen to prominent members of the gentry during the turbulence of the War of the Roses.

30th March – The Old English Eastertide Festival.

with Dr Sam Newton (Wuffing Education)

Rediscover the magic of the Easter festival beginning with a look at the Old English Calendar, which reveal how the month of the goddess Eostre become Eastertide. We shall also consider the ‘Synod of Whitby’ and some of the ways in which Easter was celebrated in England, especially the cult of the cross, using examples from early medieval archaeology, art and literature, especially the sublime poem known as “The Dream of the Rood”.

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 for the first time the cost will be £25- and there is a discount for the under 25s.

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