William Eichler 05 October 2022

Ancient royal hall unearthed in Suffolk, council confirms

Ancient royal hall unearthed in Suffolk, council confirms image
Image: Suffolk County Council

Evidence of a 1,400-year-old royal hall of the first Kings of East Anglia has been unearthed in Suffolk, the county council has announced.

The foundations of the elaborate timber hall, which is part of a royal compound covering an area of six hectares, were uncovered by a community archaeological excavation, part of Suffolk County Council’s Rendlesham Revealed project.

The hall marks the centre from which a major province of the East Anglian kingdom, focused on the valley of the River Deben, was ruled between AD 570 and AD 720.

The discovery confirms that this site is the royal residence as recorded in the writings of The Venerable Bede of the 8th century. Bede identified Rendlesham as the place where the East Anglian King Aethelwold stood sponsor at the baptism of King Swithelm of the East Saxons between the years AD 655 and 663.

Cllr Melanie Vigo di Gallidoro, Suffolk County Council’s deputy cabinet member for Protected Landscapes and Archaeology, said: ‘The council’s Archaeological Service has had another hugely successful summer, overseeing work which tells us even more about our county’s and country’s history, and how people lived their lives more than a thousand years ago. It can’t be underestimated how important this part of Suffolk is to our understanding our local and national heritage.

‘I’d like to thank the landowners for their support and enabling us to carry out the excavations on their private land. All the volunteers, local school children and charities are also key to making this happen. They tell us that they’ve gained so much from this unique experience, from making new friends, to being in touch with their history, to having space and activities to benefit their mental health.’

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