Walkers will be transported back 1,500 years and experience the landscape once home to a long-lost Anglo-Saxon settlement at Rendlesham where the East Anglian Kings once lived. Hidden gems from other periods of history will also be unveiled, such as a medieval priory, a stately home, a decoy pond, and ancient woodland.
The trail has been created by Suffolk County Council’s Archaeological Service (SCCAS) and is one of the activities made possible by the National Lottery Heritage Fund. SCCAS received a grant of £517,300 to fund “Rendlesham Revealed: Anglo-Saxon Life in South-East Suffolk”, a community archaeological project to uncover hidden history in the area.
Faye Minter, Senior Archaeological Officer for SCCAS, said: “I’m really excited that we can share more of our understanding about Anglo-Saxon England and Suffolk, with both locals and visitors, in this new way. Suffolk has an amazing Anglo-Saxon past, and in particular this area of south-east Suffolk. It was at the heart of East Anglian royal power over 1,500 years ago, with Rendlesham at its centre. With Ipswich having been an internationally important Anglo-Saxon port and town, you can start to understand how this region played a key role in our country’s history.”
To guide them, walkers can download an online guide, which will point out the history along the way, taking in meadows, open fields, woodland, and riverside paths. The guide is available on the Suffolk Heritage Explorer website.
The trail begins at Wickham Market railway station in Campsea Ashe, with other local railway stations getting involved in the project by installing information boards detailing the local Anglo-Saxon history. Each information board has a QR code which can be scanned to directly download the walking trail guide.