Suffolk Record Office and the Anglo-Saxons? With our earliest document dating to the 12th Century, Anglo-Saxon researchers and enthusiasts might be forgiven for not thinking of us when planning a visit to Suffolk! However, our collections reflect the continuation of many stories which began with the Anglo-Saxons – immigration, kingship, parishes and many more. In addition, our Local Studies collections contain a wealth of secondary sources on Anglo-Saxon Suffolk.
Sutton Hoo is a fine example of an archaeological site which really ‘comes to life’ through the archives; after all, how could a modern day visitor make sense of the features on the ground without the photographs, the excavation records, the journals and maps which tell the story – both of the site itself and the fascinating tale of its discovery!
Below is a sample of the Sutton Hoo-related material you can find at Suffolk Record Office:
Surveys drawn in 1600 by John Norden for Sir Michael Stanhope reflect Suffolk’s place in the history of cartography; Norden is credited with developing key innovations that were adopted nationally. His survey above records the Anglo-Saxon grass burial mounds at Sutton Hoo, which held the royal burial ship, excavated in 1939 by Basil Brown.
Basil Brown (1888 – 1977) was a prolific worker and recorder of archaeological sites in Suffolk. Discoverer of the Sutton Hoo Ship burial in 1938-39 and West Stow Anglo-Saxon village in 1947, the value of his work (copiously recorded by handwritten notes, drawings and maps) went largely unrecognised during his lifetime. Read about his archive here.