The Rendlesham Project

Since 2008 the Suffolk County Council Archaeological Service has been co-ordinating a major survey project at the Naunton Hall estate in Rendlesham. Aspects of the work have been supported by various bodies, including English Heritage (now Historic England), the Sutton Hoo Society, the Society of Antiquaries, the Suffolk Institute of Archaeology and History, the Royal Archaeological Institute, the Society for Medieval Archaeology and the Portable Antiquities SchemeThe academic advisor to the project is Professor Chris Scull (Cardiff University and University College London).

The aims are to study the character, extent and condition of a large area of Anglo-Saxon activity which can be equated with a ‘vicus regius’, a royal settlement, as identified at Rendlesham by Bede.

The principal method has been surface collection by systematic metal-detecting. Key areas have also been examined by magnetometer survey and a very small series of trial excavation trenches have tested the survey results.

The results suggest a place that may have been significant from the 5th until the mid-8th century, and was certainly particularly large, wealthy and well connected in the late 6th and 7th centuries. 

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