Our Favourite Archaeology in Suffolk – West Stow

View of the village

Featured Image: View of the Anglo-Saxon village. Source: West Stow Anglo-Saxon Village and Museum

Our final post on our blog series showcasing some of our favourite archaeology in Suffolk. This week as we end the series, we explore the fascinating Anglo-Saxon Village and Country Park at West Stow with Faye.

Faye is a Senior Archaeological Officer and has worked for the team for 18 years now and has a wide-ranging role providing archaeological advice both within and outside of the planning process. Faye manages the excellent Suffolk Finds Recording Team and the county’s archaeological archives. She also enjoys co-ordinating various externally funded research projects, including Rendlesham Revealed, our exciting National Lottery Heritage Funded community archaeology project.

Whilst working in Suffolk I have become increasingly interested and involved in the county’s amazing Anglo-Saxon past. As part of my current role, I am the Archaeological Advisor for one of my favourite archaeological sites, West Stow, and enjoy working with the great team at the Anglo-Saxon Village and Country Park to help further develop this unique site.

In 1965-72 Stanley West led the excavations of the 5th to 7th century settlement at West Stow, one of the most important early Anglo-Saxon settlements in the country to be excavated, as it was virtually complete and devoid of later occupation. After the excavations were finished, Stanley West began to develop the site into the popular tourist attraction it has become today, with a museum to display the many objects recovered and as an experimental archaeology centre. West Stow continues as an experimental site today, 48 years since the first reconstruction of an Anglo-Saxon hut was built. There are different interpretations and building techniques being tried and tested at West Stow so the results can be compared to the original archaeological record.

West Stow Anglo-Saxon Village is well worth a visit, I love visiting with my family, especially when the Anglo-Saxon re-enactors are in residence, bringing the village to life. The popular interactive mini dig area and the Anglo-Saxon gallery have recently been updated, with new objects and interpretations now on display.

Image of the re-enactors
Re-enactors in residence. Source: West Stow Anglo-Saxon Village and Museum

I’m looking forward to the next project at West Stow as part of the Suffolk County Council Brecks Fen Edge and Rivers National Lottery Heritage Fund Project; there will be community archaeological fieldwork in and around West Stow Country Park, due to start this autumn to further set West Stow into its landscape context. As part of this work, we are excited to also be be exploring the other periods of time represented at West Stow, particularly the lesser-known Iron Age settlement, including the building of an Iron Age round house on the site in the next couple of years. We will need volunteers so keep an eye out for updates or subscribe to our e-newsletter.

Find Out More:

For more information visit the Suffolk Heritage Explorer to learn more and download reports and articles about West Stow.

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