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.








22nd September : ~The Black Death.

Professor  Mark Bailey (University of East Anglia)

The Black Death of 1348-49 is the greatest catastrophe  in documented English history, killing nearly half the population and terrorizing the survivors. This course reveals the fruit of three years of new research and of re-thinking its impact upon the economy and society of late-fourteenth century England. At Suffolk Punch Trust, Hollesley.  Full – e-mail to be added to the waiting list.


29th September : The Landscape of Suffolk Place-Names with-

Dr Keith Briggs (Independent Scholar)

We shall investigate the place-names of Suffolk from the point of view of what they reveal about the landscape of the past. We will look especially at the names of the smaller features such as fields, tenements, greens and commons, lanes, woods and parks, mainly as recorded in the medieval period. At Suffolk Punch Trust, Hollesley.


6th October : The Horse  in Early Anglo-Saxon England with-

Chris Fern (Heritage Consultant , University of York)

From the very beginning of Anglo-Saxon culture, the importance of the horse is signified by the names of the legendary warrior-founders of the English-speaking people in Britain, Hengest and Horsa. Equine imagery is also prominent in early Anglo-Saxon art. Added to this is considerate archaeological evidence for horse sacrifice in both cremation and inhumation burials of the 5th to 7th centuries, often with highly ornate tack. At Suffolk Punch Trust, Hollesley.


13th October : 1066 Year Zero? with –

Dr Sam Newton (Wuffing Education)

For many people the Battle of Hastings marks the beginning of English history. On the eve of its 952nd anniversary, we shall reconsider this view in the context of the contemporary sources for the history of England in the 11th century. At Suffolk Punch Trust, Hollesley.


20th October : New Thoughts on Old Swords : The Sword in Early England from the 5th to 7th centuries with-

Paul Martimer (Independent Scholar)

Much of the evidence for Anglo-Saxon swords derives from the excavation of graves and many ideas about them have been based on that, but does a sword always indicate ‘high status’, or one patterned sword-blades really rare? We will consider these and related questions along with new ways of thinking about them. At Suffolk Punch Trust, Hollesley.


3rd November : Beowulf, Sutton Hoo and the Wuffings with-

Dr Sam Newton (Wuffing Education)

An introduction to the Old English epic, of Beowulf and its implications for our understanding of Sutton Hoo and the culture of the Wuffings of East Anglia. We shall see how the splendid language brings to life the bare bones of the archaeology and how the latter authenticates the golden world of the poems. At Suffolk Punch Trust, Hollesley.


17th November : Raising the Dead : The Archaeology of Anglo-Saxon Death and Burial with

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 funeral rites. Subjects to be covered include cremation, inhumation, the use of grave-goods and the impact of Christianity. The day will be illustrated with examples which will include recent and unpublished excavations. At Suffolk Punch Trust, Hollesley.


24th November : Reconstructing 13th century Society and Landscape : the Bishop of Ely’s Fenland Estates with

Dr Sue Oosthuizery (University of Cambridge)

The Ely Coucher Book is a record of the Bishop of Ely’s vast Fenland estates in 1249-50, so comprehensive it was too fat to stand and had instead to lie down as if asleep (from the French coucher ‘to sleep’ ). Because the same questions were asked on each manor, and the work of collection, recording and analysis was undertaken in a single phase within a consistant framework by a centrally co-ordinated tram, it provides a detailed portrait of many aspects of daily life across a large medieval region. From this great book we can construct everyday lives across that Mid-13th century landscape to try to understand ‘what really happened in that land of mystery which we call the past’. At Suffolk Punch Trust, Hollesley.


1st December : Castles, Moats and Feudal Symbolism in Medieval Suffolk with-

Edward Martin (Retired Archaeologist & Independent Scholar)

Castles and the less monumental but related moated sites-are powerful and evocative symbols of the Medieval feudal system. We shall examine the history and development of those in Suffolk, exploring both their physical and symbolic values. At Suffolk Punch Trust, Hollesley.



8th December : The Old English Yuletide Feast with

Dr Sam Newton (Wuffing Education)

Rediscover the magic of Christmas with an exploration of the significance of the mid-winter festival in early England and how it was celebrated. This will include a look at the Old English calendar, which reveals how the pre-Christian year was structured and how it was transformed into the Christian year in the light of early medieval art, poetry and archaeology. At Suffolk Punch Trust, Hollesley.




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.