Though Rendlesham may be well known as “Britain’s Roswell” for the 1980 Rendlesham Forest UFO incident, it is now making news for the discovery of something that has been there for centuries.
Writing in the early 8th century, the Venerable Bede mentioned a village, describing it as “the king’s country-seat of Rendlesham.” After the 1939 discovery of an undisturbed Anglo-Saxon burial ship only 4 miles from Rendlesham, most became convinced that it was the burial site of 7th century Anglo-Saxon King Rædwald. Rendlesham was believed to be the site of his royal hall, but no proof had been found to support that belief.
Serious study of the fields around Rendlesham began in 2008 after an increase in illegal looting drew attention to the site. Since that time, archaeologists have recovered over 3,500 individual artifacts from the 50-hectare site outside Rendlesham. Although no evidence of a royal hall or structure has been discovered, the quality of the jewelry fragments, coins, and metalwork discovered at Rendlesham have convinced archaeologists that it was the site of a royal village.
Those involved with the excavation have labelled Sutton Hoo as a site that reveals much about the Anglo-Saxon view of death, while Rendlesham is more demonstrative of daily life in Anglo-Saxon Britain. The new evidence of a protracted royal settlement at Rendlesham has led some historians to call for a reexamination of the modern perception of Anglo-Saxon society. An exhibition displaying 70 of the Rendlesham artifacts will open at the Sutton Hoo Visitor Center on 15 March and continue until 31 October.
The Argus – Royal Anglo-Saxon settlement found