2013 and earlier

2013 and Earlier

For our latest series of Study Days, see the list of forthcoming Study Days. If you would like to see any of these study days repeated please contact us and we will try and arrange it.

Autumn 2013

21st Sept.

The Nobility of Medieval East Anglia (Dr Rosemary Horrox, Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge)
The day will take three case studied from across the Middle Ages: the Mandeville earls of Essex, the Mowbray dukes of Norfolk and the de la Pole earls, later dukes, of Suffolk. A final session considers how noble families (and individuals within them) rose and fell.

More details

28th Sept.
Celtic Art and the Anglo-Saxons: from the Iron Age to the Insular style (Dr Sue Youngs, former Curator, British Museum.)
We will look at the Celtic motifs that figure in Anglo-Saxon art of the 8th century and consider why they were there and how they formed part of some of the finest manuscript illumination of the world.More details
5th Oct

East Anglia and the Domesday Book  (Dr Lucy Marten, Director of Studies at Advanced Studies in England and Honorary Lecturer at UEA.)
This study day will focus on the East Anglian volume of the Domesday Book and the wealth of information it provides about East Anglia before and after 1066.

More details

12th Oct.

The Tollemaches of Helmingham Hall in 1588 (Moira Coleman, Independent Scholar.)
England’s response to the threat of invasion by the Spanish in 1588 is well documented in state records, but we explore the year and its impact through local Suffolk records, particularly those of the gentry Tollemache family of Helmingham Hall.

More details

19th Oct.

The Battle of Assandún (18th Oct. 1016) (Dr Sam Newton Independent Scholar.)
A 997th Anniversary Special on one of the great battles of English history, which was a heroic defeat for the English and a kingdom-winning victory for the Danish king Cnút, an event at least as important as the Battle of Hastings 50 years later.  We shall reconsider the drama of the year 1016 using the evidence of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle and Old Norse poetry.  We shall also look at the question of the site of the battle in the Essex landscape.

More details

26th Oct.
An Introduction to the Archaeology of Late Saxon and Viking Britain (Paul Blinkhorn,
Archaeological Consultant) The Viking invasions of the British Isles between the 9th and 11th centuries had mostly remained largely elusive to archaeologists, but the last twenty years have seen a sharp increase in evidence. In this light we shall reconsider the Viking invasions, the reasons behind them, and the effects they had on the country.More details
2nd Nov

Anglo-Saxon Open-Air Governance and the East Anglian Hundred Moots (Dr Sam Newton, Independent Scholar)
Building on UCL’s Landscapes of Governance project, we shall explore the landscape of the early hundred moot sites of the Eastern Angles.

More details

9th Nov.

The Celtic Neighbours of the Anglo-Saxons
(Dr Fiona Edmonds, University of Cambridge)
This study day focuses on the interaction of the Anglo-Saxons and their Celtic neighbours, the Gaelic-speakers of Ireland and Scotland, the Britons of Wales, Cornwall and Brittany, and the Picts. We will also investigate groups resident in Anglo-Saxon England, such as the monks of Lindisfarne.

More details

23rd Nov.

St Edmund, King and Martyr: how to make saints
and influence people in medieval East Anglia (Dr Rebecca Pinner, University of East Anglia.)
With an emphasis on original sources, this multimedia workshop will introduce you to the latest research into our regional patron saint, focusing on the often surprising ways in which individuals and communities adapted his cult in word, image, myth, and more.

More details

30th Nov.

The Archaeology of Anglo-Saxon Suffolk (Jo Caruth, Suffolk County Council Archaeological Service.)
A look at the new information about Anglo-Saxon Suffolk which has emerged from the results of key excavations by the County Archaeological Service over the last 25 years, and including the nationally significant Early Anglo-Saxon cemetery at RAF Lakenheath.

More details

7th Dec.

Anglo-Saxon Gold and Cloisonné Jewellery (Dr Angela Evans, former Curator, British Museum.)
An exploration of the consummate artistry of the craftsmen who created the iconic the gold and garnet jewellery found aboard the Sutton Hoo ship-burial, such as the sword-hilt, scabbard, and belt fittings, the great buckle and purse-lid, and the astounding shoulder-clasps.

More details

14th Dec

The Old English Yuletide Festival (Dr Sam Newton Independent Scholar.)
Rediscover the magic of Christmas with a look at the early history of the old Yuletide festival and the archaeology of feasting, which together paint a picture of both its significance and how it was celebrated in early England.

More details

Summer 2013

April 13th

Anglo-Saxon Treasure:  Sutton Hoo and The Staffordshire Hoard (Dr Morn Capper, British Museum)
An examination of the material from the Staffordshire Hoard and Sutton Hoo following work on the new British Museum display and those at the Birmingham and Staffordshire museums.More details

April 20th

Landscapes of Violence (Dr John Baker, University of Nottingham, & Stuart Brookes, University College London)
The organization of sanctioned violence was one of the key aspects of Anglo-Saxon state formation. We shall explore the consequent militarization of the landscape, tracing its development through a range of approaches, and using, among other things, archaeological, toponymic and documentary sources.More details

April 27th

Bishoprics and Battlefields: East Anglia during the Seventh Century   (Dr Sam Newton, Independent Scholar)  A reappraisal of the heroic history of the Wuffing kingdom following the reign of the great king Rædwald, up to and including the Battle the River Winwæd (15th Nov. 655), one of the great battles of Anglo-Saxon history.More details

May 11th

Stuart Suffolk and the Sport of Kings: the Newmarket Experience (1606-1714). (John Sutton, Independent Scholar)
The day will trace the evolution of Newmarket into England’s sporting capital from the reign of James I to that of Queen Anne. The key roles played by Charles II, the Jockey King, and Tregonwell Frampton, the Father of the English Turf, in bringing about this remarkable transformation will receive special attention.More details

May 18th

Gold in the Ground: Some Shorter Old English Poems
(Professor Michael Alexander, University of St Andrews)
The shorter poems have come to be seen as the best way into the Anglo-Saxon mind. These include The Ruin and The Wanderer, as well as the astonishing poem The Dream of the Rood. The Riddles also provide appealing windows onto the Old English world, and the love poems have supplemented the idea that all the old poetry was about heroic death.More details

June 8th

Old English Warrior-Kingship
(Steve Pollington, Paul Mortimer, Independent Scholars) An exploration of the language and regalia of Anglo-Saxon warrior-kingship, using replicas from Sutton Hoo and elsewhere. The day will include recent new research on the Sutton Hoo whetstone.More details

June 15th

Medieval Germanic Sources of Tolkien’s Mythology
(Dr Elizabeth Solopova, University of Oxford) This study-day will introduce a range of languages and texts which influenced Tolkien’s fiction. Students will learn about ancient Germanic culture and mythology and will gain insights into Tolkien’s linguistic and literary scholarship. In bringing these strands together, the course will demonstrate how creative Tolkien’s approach, as a writer, was to the earlier literature which he admired.More details

June 22nd

Rediscovering Old English Gods and Goddesses
(Dr Sam Newton, Independent Scholar) A summer solstice celebration of the almost forgotten gods and goddesses of Old England. We shall look at some of the more authentic ways to chart the lost continent of pre-Christian mythology through literature, language, art, landscape, and archaeology.More details

June 29th

Heroic Feasting
(Professor Leslie Webster, University of London)
An exploration of the ritual of feasting in the great hall at the time of Sutton Hoo, drawing on finds from related sites and references in literature.More details

July 6th

The Holkham Bible Picture Book and the Making of Medieval Manuscripts (Professor Michelle Brown, University of London)
The Holkham Bible is the first ‘Poor Man’s Bible’ in which the biblical narrative is told primarily by images, like a film story-board. It was made in London, in the shadow of St Paul’s Cathedral, in the 1330s (on the eve of the Black Death) by a cheeky Cockney artist who placed himself and his age within the action. By exploring the extraordinary case of this craftsman we will also explore the processes, techniques and contexts for the making of medieval manuscripts.More details

July13th

East Anglia and Kent (Dr Sam Newton, Independent Scholar)
On the festival-day of the Kentish princess St Mildred of Thanet, a reassessment of the relations between East Anglia and Kent as indicated by archaeology, art, and documentary sources.More details

July 20th

Life and Death in the Bronze Age, from Eurasia to East Anglia
 (Edward Martin, Archaeologist, Suffolk County Council)
The Bronze Age marks the exciting point when humans discovered metals and this course will explore the societies that took up the discovery and transmitted it from Eurasia, across Europe to Britain and East Anglia.More details

August 10th

The Battle of Maldon (10th August 991) and the Beginning of the End of Anglo-Saxon England (Dr Sam Newton, Independent Scholar)
An Anniversary Special on the great heroic defeats of English history and the glorious Old English battle-poem which makes it so memorable.  We shall look at the Anglo-Saxon and Scandinavian backgrounds before we follow the narrative of the poem. We shall also consider the site of the battle and its aftermath.More details

Spring 2013

Jan 19th
King Rædwald Reconsidered (Dr Sam Newton)
A reappraisal of the history of the great king thought to have lain in state aboard the magnificent Sutton Hoo ship-burial.More details
Jan 26th
Heretical Christians: Who were they and what did they believe? (Charles Freeman)
The Greek word for heresy originally meant “choice” but with the tightening of Christian orthodoxy, it came to mean “wrong choice”. This study day will explore the kinds of heresy that could be found in medieval Europe between 300 and 1500, who became a heretic and why, and how the forces of authority dealt with them.More details
Feb 2nd
Serfdom in England 1200 to 1550 (Professor Mark Bailey, University of East Anglia).
Serfdom affected around half the population of 13th-century England but by 1550 had withered away, releasing the land and labour markets and pointing the way forward for England to become the first industrialized nation. The course considers the reality of serfdom, its dominance of the historical literature, and the causes of its decline.More details
Feb 9th
Eastern Saxons and Eastern Angles (Howard Brooks, Colchester Archaeological Trust, & Dr Sam Newton, Independent Scholar).
Starting with the archaeology and landscape history of late Roman and early Saxon Essex, we shall chart what we can see of the early history of the kingdom of the Eastern Saxons, with special attention to the Prittlewell burial, and its relations to the early kingdom of the Eastern Angles.More details
March 2nd
Coins and Kings in Anglo-Saxon England (Dr Gareth Williams, British Museum).
This study-day will cover the history of coinage in Anglo-Saxon England. Each lecture will include an overview of developments across England, and how these developments affected East Anglia. The coins will be considered in their monetary context, but also as expressions of royal authority, and of political, religious and cultural identity, as well as historical texts which throw light on our understanding of the period.More details
March 9th
Norse Mythology (Dr Heather O’Donoghue, Oxford University).
This study day will focus on the mythology of the medieval North. We will begin by looking at what is meant by the term “myth”, moving on to the myths themselves – dramatic stories about the gods and giants, and conceptions of the beginning of the world and its end – and concluding with a survey of what Norse myth has meant to post-medieval audiences.More details
March 16th
Art & Poetry in the Dream-Ship from Sutton Hoo (Dr Sam Newton, Independent Scholar).
A look at the high culture perspective of the art and archaeology of the Sutton Hoo ship-burial and related sites. In particular, we shall explore the implication that the use of a boat in a burial realises the belief that death was but a point of embarkation for a voyage to a heavenly haven over the horizon, out of sight of mortal shores, a narrative which ordinary folk could follow. We shall also consider how this belief is amplified by Old English poetry.More details
March 23rd
An Introduction to the Archaeology of Late Saxon & Viking Britain (Paul Blinkhorn, Archaeological Consultant).
Until recently, the Viking invasions of the British Isles in the 9th and early 11th centuries had mostly remained largely elusive to archaeologists. But the last twenty years have seen a sharp increase in archaeological evidence for the Vikings in Britain, which we shall consider.More details

Autumn 2012

Sept. 22nd
Sutton Hoo: The Other Barrows and Burials (Dr Sam Newton, Independent Scholar)
An examination of the other barrows and burials at Sutton Hoo, which form the most immediate context for our understanding of the great ship-burial.More details

Sept. 29th

 

‘In an Angle of the World’: Anglo-Saxon England and the Mediterranean World (Dr Anna Gannon, Univ of Cambridge).
According to Gregory the Great, Anglo-Saxon England was remote and at the limits of the known world. Yet archaeology and history of art tell a different story, one of interaction, commerce and active exchange of ideas. The study-day will explore the breadth and importance of these relations.More Details
Oct. 6th
John Lydgate and Medieval Literary Culture in East Anglia. (Dr Rebecca Pinner, UEA).
As Norwich is awarded the acclaim of UNESCO City of Literature, we shall look at our medieval literature, with an emphasis on John Lydgate, of Bury St Edmunds, who wrote more in the English language than any other poet before or since, as well as exploring what writers outside our region thought about Norfolk and Suffolk.More Details
Oct. 13th
The Monastic Landscapes of East Anglia (Dr Rik Hoggett, Ind Scholar).
We begin with a look at the changes made by the Late Saxon monastic reforms followed by the archaeology and architecture of the major monastic orders of the high medieval period, then take in the management of monastic estates, and conclude with the dissolution of the monasteries and consider what happened to these sites after they fell out of use.More Details
Oct. 20th 
Anglo-Saxon Treasure:  Sutton Hoo and The Staffordshire Hoard  (Dr Morn Capper, British Museum).
An examination of and reflection on the material from the Staffordshire Hoard and Sutton Hoo following work on the new British Museum display and those at the Birmingham and Staffordshire museums.

Unfortunately this is cancelled due to family illness.

More Details

Oct. 27th
Medieval Manorial Documents: Sources for Suffolk’s History (Dr John Ridgard & Rick Osborn)
Many thousands of documents from Suffolk dating from before c.1550 have survived in upwards of 10 Records Offices, Universities, Public libraries and Private Collections situated both in the United Kingdom and the USA. This Study Day surveys the range of manorial documents which survive and shows how the information within them can be used in the study of local histories.More DetailsNB – Note change of speaker
Nov. 10th
The History of Suffolk Place-Names (Keith Briggs, Ind Scholar).
Place-names are of interest not only in the history of language, and also in local and social history.  We shall start with names from the Old English language and finish with recent research on certain particularly difficult and interesting names.More Details
Nov. 24th
A Landscape History of Greater East Anglia (Edward Martin, Ind Scholar) A view into the complex landscape  of ‘Greater East Anglia’ – Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk – to investigate, explain and chart the interrelated histories of its villages, farms, fields, woods, greens and other features.More Details
Dec. 1st
Sutton Hoo and the Frankish Connection (Dr Sam Newton, Ind Scholar).
On the festival-day of St Eloi, the royal goldsmith and jeweller of the Merovingian kings of the Franks, we shall reappraise the relations of East Anglia and the Frankish kingdom with a new look at the art and history of the early seventh century.More Details
Dec. 8th
Sutton Hoo: Craftsmen in Iron and Bronze (Dr Angela Evans, Ind Scholar). The day will focus on the work of the metalsmiths, working in a royal milieu, who made both remarkable and functional objects in iron and copper-alloy – metalworking that more than equals the technical achievements of the goldsmiths and lapidaries.More details
Dec. 15th
The Old English Christmas Festival (Dr Sam Newton, Ind Scholar)
Rediscover the magic of Christmas with a look at the history of the great midwinter festival and the archaeology of feasting.More details

Summer 2012

April 21st
Runes and Rune Lore (Dr Elizabeth Solopova, Bodleian Library, Oxford University)
A comprehensive introduction to the runic alphabet, runic inscriptions, and their linguistic and cultural contexts.More details
April 28th
The Luttrell Psalter – a mirror of medieval life and death (Prof. Michelle Brown, University of London)
The Luttrell Psalter is one of the supreme expressions of Gothic art.  Its patron, Sir Geoffrey Luttrell (1276-1345), lord of the manor of Irnham in Lincolnshire, his family, and the people who worked his land are depicted in detail on its pages. They are joined by a riot of bizarre grotesques – the forces of chaos threatening divine order in an age when pestilence stalked the land, queens and their lovers overthrew kings, and the peasants were revolting.More details

May 12th

 

Sounds of the Saxons: Old English Language and Poetry (Dr Richard Dance, University of Cambridge)
An introduction to the language of the Anglo-Saxons (“Old English”) and their literature.  We will investigate the English language in its fascinating earliest form, learn to understand and pronounce some of the words, and read together some of the greatest poetry of the period.More details

May 19th

 

King Æthelbert of East Anglia (martyred 20th May 794)  (Dr Sam Newton, Independent Scholar)
An exploration of what we can see of the history of East Anglia’s less well-known king and martyr, Æthelbert, and his cult, beginning with a look at the state of England and East Anglia in the latter part of the eighth century.More details
May 26th
The Civil Wars in East Anglia 1640-1650. (Dr Andrew Lacey, Independent Scholar)
East Anglia was known as the heartland of puritan loyalty during the civil wars, the home of Oliver Cromwell, the New Model Army and the Eastern Association. We will explore the history of the region in this exciting period, pausing, along the way, to consider the activities of William Dowsing and Matthew Hopkins, Witchfinder-General.More details
June 2nd
The Anglo-Saxon Origins of the English Monarchy (Dr Sam Newton, Independent Scholar)
On the occasion of the Diamond Jubilee Weekend of Queen Elizabeth II, we shall explore the Anglo-Saxon origins of the English royal line.   We shall trace the line back to the Anglo-Saxon kings and queens of Wessex and beyond to Kent and East Anglia.  These in turn derive from deep pre-Christian roots back to the Woden and other deities.  We shall consider the significance of these roots and note how they help to explain some of the cultic customs associated with kingship such as the royal touch, royal weather, and the veneration of  royal relics.More details

June 16th

 

The History of St Botulf and his Cult (Dr Sam Newton, Independent Scholar)
An attempt to trace the largely forgotten history of this famous but little known saint through the literature, art, archaeology, and landscapes associated with him and his cult.More details
June 23rd
A St Æthelthryth’s Day Special on Mighty Women of Early England (Dr Sam Newton, Independent Scholar)
A reassessment of female power in early East Anglia with special attention to the founding abbess of Ely and her sisters.More details
June 30th
In Search of Earthly Paradise: an Exploration of Garden History in Places Both Far and Near.(Edward Martin, Independent Scholar)
A richly illustrated exploration of the myriad ways in which people have tried to realise their dreams of paradise through their gardens – a journey that will cover many continents but will also strongly feature the gardens of East Anglia.  In the four sessions of the day we will be using archaeological, documentary and art evidence as well as actual existing gardens to explore these broad themes.More details
July 7th
Coins and Kings in Anglo-Saxon England (Dr Gareth Williams, Curator of Early Medieval Coinage, British Museum)
This study day will explore the use of coins in England from the 5th to the 11th centuries, setting the coins from Sutton Hoo and the later East Anglian coinage in their wider Anglo-Saxon context. The lectures will present the shift from the use of imported coins, through the minting of coinage within individual kingdoms, to the introduction of a single national coinage, and will consider the roles of coinage as expressions of identity and vehicles for royal authority as well as their economic function.Unfortunately this study day is cancelled due to illness of the speaker – we will try and re-schedule it for another day.More details
July 14th
A Forgotten Century: Kings and Half-Kings in Tenth-century East Anglia (Dr Lucy Marten, University of East Anglia)
The 10th century is an often overlooked period in East Anglia’s history, yet this was the period during which East Anglia was becoming part of the emerging polity that was beginning to be called ‘England’.  We shall look in detail at the documentary evidence and question of just how ‘English’ East Anglia was as the first millennium approached.More details

Spring 2012

Jan 21st
Rædwald of East Anglia: The First King of England – Dr Sam Newton, Ind. Scholar. A reassessment of the question of who was the first king of England in response to the recent restatement by Professor Sarah Foot that it was Æthelstan of Wessex. We shall consider thus the history of early England in general and of Rædwald of East Anglia (died c.625) in particular.More details.This Study Day replaces – A Forgotten Century: Kings and Half-Kings in Tenth-century East Anglia – Dr Lucy Marten, Univ. of E.A. which will now be put on later in the year.
Jan. 28th
The afterlives of St. Edmund and his medieval colleagues – Charles Freeman, Ind. Scholar.Fountains of salvation to us, pouring forth manifold blessings and abounding in oil of sweet fragrance” (John of Damascus). Saints’ bodies were not simply bones or dust but many had a continuing life of their own. This Study Day explores the afterlives of the saints’ bodies across medieval Europe.More details
Feb. 4th
Sutton Hoo and the Goths – Dr Sam Newton, Ind. Scholar. An attempt to understand Sutton Hoo in the context of the sixth–century history of Europe in general and of the Goths in particular.More details
Feb. 25th
Leechcraft – the Early English Healing Tradition – Steve Pollington, Ind. Scholar & Robin Baker, East India Merchant. An examination of medical practice in Anglo-Saxon England with a focus on plant-based preparations. Evidence will be drawn from archaeology and the three Old English principal manuscripts to indicate the range of materials used and the purposes to which they were put. The combination of classical medical literature and native herblore produced a remarkably diverse medical tradition.More details
March 3rd
Medieval Fields and Farming – Dr Sue Oosthuizen, University of Cambridge. This study day takes a critical look at the almost-universal consensus that open fields and rights of common pasture were Anglo-Saxon introductions. Instead, it argues, ‘medieval’ landscapes represent aspects of both tradition and innovation, solutions negotiated between lords and peasants.More details
March 10th
Old Norse-Icelandic Literature – Dr Heather O’Donoghue, Univ. of Oxford. An introduction to the unique literature of early medieval Iceland and Norway: sagas, mythological and heroic poetry, and Viking-age verseMore details
March 17th
The Irish Church in Eastern England – Dr Sam Newton, Ind. Scholar. – A St Patrick’s Day Special on the history of the Irish missionaries in Eastern England during the 7th  century, such as St Fursey and St Cedd.More details
March 24th
An Introduction to the Archaeology of Middle Saxon England, c.AD650 – 850 – Paul Blinkhorn, Ind. Arch. Consultant. An examination of the archaeological discoveries of the last 30 years which have shown that the Middle Saxon period saw a radical change in the nature of life in England, with the first major population centres and coinage since Roman times and an economic and cultural boom on a European-wide scaleMore details
March 31st
The Medieval Eastertide  – Dr Sam Newton, Ind. Scholar.  Rediscover the magic of Easter with an exploration of the significance of this ancient festival in early England.More details

Autumn 2011

24th
Sept
Sutton Hoo and the Dragon with Dr Sam Newton, Independent Scholar.
An investigation into the belief in dragons, focussing on the bejewelled dragon from the Sutton Hoo shield, “the first dragon of English art,” and the account of the dragon in Beowulf, “the first dragon of English literature.”More details.
1st
Oct.
A Vibrant Age in a Changing Society: An Enquiry into
Anglo-Saxon Visual Culture (6th – 8th centuries) with Dr Anna Gannon, University of Cambridge.

An examination of the great changes in Anglo-Saxon art around the year 600, which reveal the depth of the high culture of the time.More details.
8th
Oct.
Old English Gods and Goddesses Lost and Found with
Dr Sam Newton, Independent Scholar.

A look at some of the more authentic ways to chart the lost continent of pre-Christian mythology.More details.
15th
Oct.
The “Peasants’ Revolt” or Great Rising of 1381 with Dr John Ridgard, Independent Scholar
A reconsideration, in the light of a lifetime’s research, of the Great Rising of 1381, with special attention to the “Innocent and Peaceful” county of SuffolkMore details.
22nd
Oct.
Anglo-Saxon Churches of East Anglia with Dr Rik Hoggett, Norfolk Coastal Heritage
A consideration of the documentary, architectural, and archaeological evidence for the Anglo-Saxon churches of East Anglia.More details.
5th
Nov.
The Old English Warrior-Kings with Steve Pollington, and Paul Mortimer, Independent Scholars
An exploration of the language and regalia of Anglo-Saxon warrior-kingship, using replicas from Sutton Hoo and elsewhere. The day will include a talk by stone carver Brian Ansell on the Sutton Hoo whetstone.More details.
12th
Nov.
Sutton Hoo: the Other Barrows and Burials with Dr Sam Newton, Independent Scholar
An examination of the other barrows and burials at Sutton Hoo, which form the most immediate context for our understanding of the great ship-burial.More details.
19th
Nov.
St Edmund and the Last of the Wuffings Dr Sam Newton, Independent Scholar
The day before the 1142nd anniversary of the martyrdom of King Edmund, a reappraisal of the last days of the Wuffings in history and legend.More details.
26th
Nov.
Medieval Ipswich: Merchants and Craftsmen with Dr Nick Amor, Independent Scholar
We shall explore the overseas and inland trade of the late medieval port, the industries of Ipswich, and the fascinating characters of the time, focusing on wool, wine, woollen cloth, leather trades, metalwork and the first consumer boom.More details.
3rd
Dec.
The Art of Anglo-Saxon Metalwork with Dr Angela Evans, former Curator of Early Anglo-Saxon Antiquities at the British Museum
A close look at the consummate artistry of the craftsmen who created the iconic metalwork found aboard the Sutton Hoo ship-burial – the gold and garnet jewellery, the helmet, the shield-fittings, and the decorated drinking horns and other feasting gear, as well as the splendid bridle from Mound 17.More details.
10th
Dec.
Thinking about Things: Assembly Sites and the History of the English Hundreds with Dr John Baker, University of Nottingham, & Stuart Brookes, University College London
A study of the meeting-places (Things) in the landscape which formed the framework of late Anglo-Saxon legal and governmental administration and which are fundamental to understanding our local, regional and national histories.More details.
17th
Dec
The Medieval Christmas Festival with Dr Sam Newton, Independent Scholar
Rediscover the magic of Christmas with a look at the history of the great midwinter festival and the archaeology of feasting, which together paint a picture of its significance and how it was celebrated in early England.More details.

Summer 2011

May 7th
A Beginners’ Guide to Beowulf & Sutton Hoo with Dr Sam Newton
An introduction to the study of the Old English epic of Beowulf and its implications for our understanding of Sutton Hoo.More details.
May 14th
Life and Death in the Bronze Age, from Eurasia to East Anglia with Edward Martin (Suffolk County Council Archaeologist)
The Bronze Age marks the point when metals entered into the human consciousness, leading to momentous changes that are still with us today. We shall explore some of the societies that first took up the discovery across Europe, with an emphasis on those that did so here in East Anglia.More details.
May 21st

Rediscovering Lost Old English Music and Verse:
The Anglo-Saxon Lyres from Sutton Hoo, Snape & Prittlewell with Dr Graeme Lawson (Fellow of Cambridge University)
This is a rare opportunity to meet with one of the world’s specialists in ancient musical instruments and in the Anglo-Saxon lyre in particular. Based on the finds from Sutton Hoo, Snape, and Prittlewell the day will include a hands-on exploration of the Anglo-Saxon hearpe or lyre, using replica instruments.  We will explore its use in relation to Old English poetry such as Beowulf and Widsith,  consider the lyre’s musical character and its place in world music history

More details.

June 18th
Foreign Bodies, Friend or Foe? Strangers and Foreign Objects in Britain in the Early Anglo-Saxon period with Dr Anthea Harris (Birmingham University)
An examination of the enigmatic relationship between Britain and the Mediterranean world during the 6th – 8th centuries. Taking Sutton Hoo as our starting point we shall then sweep the panorama out from East Anglia to the west and north of England.More details.
June 25th
An Introduction to the Old English Language and its Literature with Dr Sam Newton
A beginner’s guide to the earliest surviving English literature. Participants will be encouraged to utter some short texts in the original tongue.More details.
July 2nd
Art and Power in the seventh and eighth centuries: the Impact of the Staffordshire Hoard with Professor Leslie Webster (British Museum)
A chance to explore this extraordinary treasure-hoard with a world-class scholar of the period, who will also consider how it is changing our understanding of Anglo-Saxon art and culture.More details.
July 9th
Anglo-Norman Lords, Ladies, and Castles with Dr Sam Newton
A reassessment of the origin and development of castles in England in general and in East Anglia in particular.More details.

Spring 2011

Jan. 22nd
Rædwald Rules! With Dr Sam Newton
A reconsideration of what we can deduce of the history of High King Rædwald and his connection with the awesome Sutton Hoo ship-burial.More details…
Jan. 29th
The English Rebellions of 1549  with Professor Andy Wood
A look at the rebellions that gripped southern and eastern England in 1549, culminating in a sequence of bloody battles in Norwich.  Known to Norfolk people as “Kett’s rebellion”, the insurrections were a far from local affair, involving working people in a struggle with their superiors over fundamental issues – faith, power, authority and liberty.More details…
Feb. 5th
Seax, Sword, Spear, & Shield: Anglo-Saxon Weaponry with Steve Pollington & Paul Mortimer
Two specialists join forces on the military arts, deploying authentic replicas of the arms and armour from Sutton Hoo and related war-gear.More details…
Feb. 12th
Resistance and Rebellion: The Norman Conquest in East Anglia with Dr Lucy Marten
A look at the year 1066 and the resistance that followed from a largely East Anglian perspective, with special attention to uprising of Hereward ‘the Wake’ and the Three Earls’ Rebellion of 1075, conflicts which probably had more profound consequences for the pattern of landholding in East Anglia than the Conquest itself.More details…
March 5th
The north-west frontier: the early human colonisation of Britain with Dr Nick Ashton
An exploration of the human occupation of Britain over the last million years from the arrival of our African forebears to the last Neanderthals.  The evidence will be shown against the backdrop of dramatic changes in climate and the island status of Britain.More details.
March 12th
The Staffordshire Hoard and the Golden Age of England with Dr Sam Newton
A fresh look at the history of the kingdom of Mercia in particular and early England in general in the golden light of the recently revealed treasures from Staffordshire.More details.
March 19th
Old English Riddles with Dr Sam Newton
An introduction to the Old English verse riddles, which reveal so much about the Old English thought-world.  We shall consider several in detail – how they work and their possible solutions.  We shall see that many are best understood in the context of the poetry of wonder and wisdom.More details.
March 26th
An Introduction to the Archaeology of Early Anglo-Saxon England, AD450-650 with Paul Blinkhorn
An introduction to the archaeological evidence for the transition from Roman Britain to Anglo-Saxon England, and what it can tell us about everyday life, death and burial, and pre-Christian religious practice.More details.
April 2nd
The Study of Place-Names with Dr David Parsons
The day will provide an introduction to the study of place-names as a guide to the languages, landscapes and lives of the past. There will be a particular focus on the early medieval period and on East Anglia.More details.
April 9th
The Mercian Supremacy of Eastern England: Conquest and Community with Dr Morn Capper
An investigation of the place of conquered kingdoms, including East Anglia, in the rise and expansion of Mercia, the most powerful of the pre-Viking kingdoms. Through documents, coins and sculpture we will explore how kings like Penda and Offa used the tools of sanctity, dynasty, trade and diplomacy in an attempt to bind a kingdom founded on violence and warfare.More details.
April 16th
The Easter Festival in Early England with Dr Sam Newton
Rediscover the magic of Easter with an exploration of the significance of this ancient festival in early England.More details.

Autumn 2010

Sept. 18th
East Anglian Towns in the Middle Ages (Prof Mark Bailey)
An exploration with the nation’s leading authority on urban society in medieval England with special reference to East Anglia, 1100 – 1500.More details…
Sept. 25th
The Battle of Stamford Bridge (25th September 1066) (Dr Sam Newton)
An anniversary reappraisal of one of the greatest victories over an invasion force in English history.More details…
Oct. 2nd
Livestock, Power and Territory in Anglo-Saxon England (Dr Ros Faith)
A new look at Anglo-Saxon farming and animal husbandry in the landscape as not only a source of power and wealth but also a cause for conflict

Please note different start time (9:30) at Sutton Heath for field visit, then to Sutton Hoo for the lectures using own transport. Download instructions for field visit

More details…

Oct. 9th
Anglo-Saxon Cemeteries at Ipswich : Boss Hall and Buttermarket (Prof Chris Scull)
A consideration of the archaeology of these cemeteries and what they may tell us about society and economy in Suffolk in the 6th & 7th centuries AD.More details…
Oct. 16th
The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire: an Appraisal of the View from Rome (John Fairclough)
To mark the 1600th anniversary of the sack of Rome and the separation of Britain from the Empire, we will consider the literary and archaeological evidence for the decline of Roman power to see what lay behind its fall.More details…
Oct. 23rd
The Fall of Rome: The Barbarian Perspective (Dr Sam Newton)
A reconsideration of the ramifications for Britain and Europe of the sack of Rome in August 410 from the perspective of the peoples to whom the Romans refer as “barbarians”More details…
Nov. 6th
In Search of Earthly Paradise: an Exploration of Garden History. (Edward Martin)
A richly illustrated exploration of the myriad ways in which people have tried to realise their dreams of paradise through their gardens – a journey that will cover many continents but will also strongly feature the gardens of East Anglia.More details…
Nov. 13th
Dream-Ships of the Wuffings – Sutton Hoo and Snape (Dr Sam Newton)
An examination of East Anglian rite of ship-burial, and how our understanding is amplified by Old English poetry and the great nautical metaphor of life.More details…
Nov. 20th
St Edmund and the Last of the Wuffings (Dr Sam Newton)
An 1141st St Edmund’s Day reassessment of the history and legend of Edmund, the most famous of the last of the Wuffing kings.More details…
Nov. 27th
Late Roman and Early Anglo-Saxon Essex (Howard Brooks and Sam Newton)
Beginning with the archaeology and landscape history of late Roman and early Saxon Essex, we shall chart what we can see of the origins and early history of the kingdom of the Eastern Saxons, with special attention to the Prittlewell burial.More details…
Dec. 4th
First Steps in Old English (Steve Pollington)
A beginner’s guide to the wonders of the Old English language and its literature.More details…
Dec. 11th
The Archaeology of the East Anglian Conversion (Dr Rik Hoggett)
This day-school uses historical and archaeological evidence to explore the changing religious landscape of the Anglo-Saxon period in East Anglia.More details…
Dec. 18th
From Yuletide to Nativity: Christmas in Early England (Dr Sam Newton)
Rediscover the magic of Christmas with a history of the great midwinter festival and how it was celebrated in medieval England.More details…

2010 Summer Series

April 10th           
Beowulf and the Black Dog (Dr Sam Newton)
On the eve of St Guthlac’s Day, an investigation into the tales of haunted fens and their heroic and saintly exorcists.More details…
April 17th           
An Introduction to Middle English Literature (Dr Sam Newton)
A beginner’s guide to the treasures of Arthurian and Chaucerian literature.More details…
April 24th           
East Anglian Towns in the Middle Ages (Dr Mark Bailey)
An exploration with the nation’s leading authority on urban society in medieval England with special reference to East Anglia, 1100 – 1500.More Details
May 8th              
  Gold of the Iceni? (Jude Plouviez)
How was the wealth of the Iron and Roman Ages in East Anglia amassed and by whom? Treasures to be considered include those from Mildenhall, Hoxne, and the recently discovered Wickham Market hoard.More Details…
May 15th            
King Alfred and the Battle of Edington (c.15th May 878) (Dr Sam Newton)
An anniversary reappraisal of one of the most significant battles in English history, when Alfred defeated the Danes and saved England.More Details…
May 22nd           
Medieval Germanic Sources of Tolkien’s Mythology  (Dr Elizabeth Solopova)
An introduction to the Old English and Norse sources which were the focus of Tolkien’s scholarship and which underpin his fiction.More Details…
June 12th           
Sutton Hoo and the Goths (Dr Sam Newton)
An attempt to understand Sutton Hoo in the context of the sixth–century history of Europe in general and of the Ostrogoths in particular.More Details…
June 19th           
The Franks Casket: Exploring an Anglo-Saxon Enigma (Professor Leslie Webster)
An exploration of the significance and history of this extraordinary icon of Anglo-Saxon culture with a world-class scholar.More Details…

June 26th           

St Edmund, his Cult and his Community, 1000-1100 (Dr Tom Licence)
Unpacking chronicles and miracles, we will chart the growth of the legend of St Edmund and the evolution of his cult and community.

More Details…

July 3rd               
Medieval Field-Systems: Tradition and Change in East Anglia and Beyond (Dr Sue Oosthuizen)
This study-day considers the origins and development of medieval field systems and what they can tell us about the men who cultivated them.More Details…
July 10th
Sutton Hoo and the Staffordshire Hoard (Drs Angela Care Evans & Noël Adams)
A reassessment of the Sutton Hoo treasures in the light of the Staffordshire hoard and other recent discoveries, with two of the world’s leading specialists in Early Medieval art and metalwork.More Details…

2010 Spring Series

Jan. 16th
The Staffordshire Hoard and the Rise and Fall of Mercia
(Dr Sam Newton)  A fresh look at the history of the kingdom of Mercia and early England in the golden light of the recently revealed Staffordshire treasure.More details …
Jan. 23rd

Suffolk and its People – Framlingham c.1250-1550
(Dr John Ridgard)  Selected documents (translated from the Latin) will be used to reveal life in medieval Framlingham.

More details …

Jan. 30th
An Introduction to the Life and Times of  King Rædwald
(Dr Sam Newton) The history of the great king thought to have lain in state aboard the Sutton Hoo ship-burial. – An ideal starting point for those new to Sutton Hoo and King Raedwald.More details…
Feb. 6th
Archaeological Artefacts Explored
(Robert & Jane Carr)  A “hands-on” look at a variety of archaeological finds from Roman and Medieval sites in Suffolk.More details …
Feb.20th
The Bayeux Tapestry and Anglo-Norman Art and History
(Dr Sam Newton)  An exploration of the most important work of narrative art of the 11th century and of the great story it tells.More details …
Feb. 27th
Pre-Christian Gods of Old England in Art and Literature
(Steve Pollington)  An attempt to rediscover the authentic nature of pre-Christian religious allegiances.More details…
Mar. 6th
Manuscripts of the Anglo-Saxon Age
(Professor Michelle Brown)  An exploration of surviving Anglo-Saxon books, such as the Lindisfarne Gospels, and of the alchemy of change brought about by the coming of Latin literacy.More details…
Mar. 13th
The Domesday Book in East Anglia
(Dr Lucy Marten)  A look at the East Anglian volume of the Domesday Book, the “Little Domesday”. We shall consider the process of the Domesday survey and how much it can tell us about East Anglia before and after 1066.More details…
Mar. 20th
Sutton Hoo and the Staffordshire Hoard
(Drs Angela Care Evans & Noël Adams) A reassessment of the Sutton Hoo treasures in the light of the Staffordshire hoard and other recent discoveries, with 2 of the world’s leading specialists in Early Medieval art and metalwork.More details …

2009 Autumn Series

Sept 26th

 Dream Ships of the Wuffings – Sutton Hoo & Snape (Dr Sam Newton)
An exploration of East Anglian ship-burials and how our understanding is amplified by Old English poetry – the day includes a guided tour of the barrows of Sutton Hoo.

More details..

Oct 3rd
Wayland the Wonder-Smith  (Steve Pollington)
A new look at the legend of Wayland (‘lord of elves’) and early Anglo-Saxon art and material culture.More details…
Oct 10th
Money in Anglo-Saxon East Anglia: Filling Gaps in the Historical Sources (Dr Mark Blackburn)
A day with the nation’s leading specialist on the coinage of East Anglia, which reveals it to be one of the richest regions in England.More details …
Oct 17th
King Cnut and the Battle of Assandun (18th October 1016)  (Dr Sam Newton)
On the eve of its 993rd anniversary, a reconsideration of one of the major battles of English history, which led to the Danish conquest of England, and of its Essex siteMore details…
Oct 24th
Castles and Defences of East Anglia (Dr Robert Liddiard)
This study-day will look at the development of fortifications in East Anglia from prehistoric to modern times. There will be an emphasis throughout on the archaeology of East Anglian defence landscapes.More details …
Nov 7th
Old English Stringed Music and Verse. (Dr Sam Newton)
An exploration of the music of the Sutton Hoo lyre and its relation to Old English poetry.More details …
Nov 14th
Rudiments of Runelore (Steve Pollington)
A beginner’s guide to the runic alphabet, its origins and historyMore details …
Nov 21st

St Edmund and the Last of the Wuffings. (Dr Sam Newton)
The day after the 1140th anniversary of the martyrdom of King Edmund, a reappraisal of the last days of the Wuffings in history and legend.

More details…

Nov 28th
Raising the Dead: Death and Burial in Anglo-Saxon East Anglia (Dr Rik Hoggett)
This study-day considers the East Anglian archaeological evidence for the rites and religions of the Anglo-Saxons and the regional context of Sutton Hoo.More Details…
Dec 5th
The archaeology of the  Roman period in Colchester, Essex, and Britain (Howard Brooks).
Beginning with the Roman expeditions of 55 BC and AD 43, and the “Romanisation” of Britannia, we will examine a selection of Roman forts, villas and towns – including Colchester and its recently discovered circus.More Details…
Dec 12th
Exploring Old Norse Sagas (Dr Sam Newton)
A beginner’s guide to the literary treasures of medieval Iceland.More details…
Dec 19th
From Yuletide to Nativity: Christmas in Early England
(Dr Sam Newton)

Rediscover the magic of Christmas with a history of the midwinter festival and how it was celebrated.More details…

2009 Summer Series

March 21st
A Celtic Quest: The Iron Age in East Anglia and Beyond (Edward Martin)
An exploration of East Anglia’s Celtic heritage in the broader context of Britain and Europe during the Iron Age.More details…
March 28th

History, Legend and Archaeology in Beowulf
(Professor Tom Shippey)
Excavation of the great hall-sites at Gamle Lejre in Denmark, the home of the Scylding kings of Beowulf, have revealed the poem has an authentic basis in history. We shall consider what else in Beowulf is historical. Could the epic have a geopolitical context linking England and pre-Viking Denmark?

More details …

April 4th
The Old English Eastertide (Dr Sam Newton)
Rediscover the magic of Easter with a look at the significance of the spring festival in early England.More details…
April 18th
The Gold in the Ground (Professor Michael Alexander)
A day amplifying the early English heroic and elegiac verse that formed a vital part of the cultural context of Sutton Hoo. A tour of the royal barrows is included.More details ..
May 2nd
Viking Age East Anglia (Dr Sam Newton)
A reconsideration of the history of East Anglia from the 9th to the 11th centuries.More details…
May 16th
The Treasury of Sutton Hoo (Steve Pollington & Paul Mortimer)
An exploration of the famous ship-burial barrow, its contents and symbolism.More details…
May 23rd
Rædwald’s Queen and Other Formidable Women of Early England (Dr Sam Newton)
A reassessment of Old English female power from pre-Christian times through to the tenth century.More details…
June 6th
Picturing the Past – Photography and Archaeology
(Eric Houlder LRPS, MIfL)
The story of archaeological photography with Eric Houlder, who has been photographing archaeology since 1957 and worked on many sites, including Sutton Hoo in the Sixties with Rupert Bruce-Mitford & Paul Ashbee.More details…
June 13th

St Botolf, Old English Patron Saint of Travellers
(Dr Sam Newton)
An attempt to trace the largely forgotten history of St Botolf through the literature, art, archaeology, and landscapes associated with his cult.

More details…

July 25th
Heroic Feasting: Sutton Hoo, Prittlewell, and Taplow in context
(Leslie Webster)More detail…

2009 Spring Series

Jan. 17th
Exploring Old Norse Sagas (Dr Sam Newton)
A beginner’s guide to the literary treasures of medieval IcelandMore details…
Jan. 24th
Beowulf and the Old English Heroic Age
(Dr Sam Newton)
Rediscover the almost lost continent of heroic legends from the early history of the English through an exploration of Beowulf and related manuscripts.More details…
Feb. 7th
Sutton Hoo and the Golden Age of East Anglia (Dr Sam Newton)
This year is the 70th anniversary of the discovery of the Sutton Hoo ship-burial – here we shall address some of the many questions raised by this wonderful burial and assess its implications for our understanding of the dawn of English history.More details…
Feb. 28th
Romans Round the Coast (John Fairclough)
An examination of the role of the Roman fleet in the conquest of Britain and the control of our coast, which will lead to the question: how Roman was the great ship from Sutton Hoo?More details…
March 7th
Barrows and Barrow-Burial – 400-700 AD
(Steve Pollington)
An archaeological and literary exploration of the traditions associated with burial in mounds.More details …
March 14th
The Halls of the Wuffing Kings: Rendlesham & Blythburgh (Dr Sam Newton)
A consideration of our current knowledge of the sites of two of the main Wuffing folk-centres.More details …

2008 Autumn Series

27th Sept. An Introduction to Old English (Steve Pollington)
A beginner’s guide to the wonders of the Old English language and its literature.

11th Oct. Formidable Women of Old England (Dr Sam Newton)
A reassessment of Old English female power from pre-Christian times through to the tenth century.

18th Oct. Bishoprics and Battlefields: East Anglia during the Seventh Century (Dr Sam Newton)
A reappraisal of the history of the Wuffing kingdom following the reign of the great king Rædwald.

8th Nov. Old English Gods Lost and Found (Dr Sam Newton)
A look at some of the ways to rediscover the lost continent of pre-Christian mythology.

15th Nov. Guthrum’s Kingdom -The Danes in East Anglia (Dr Sam Newton)
A reconsideration of Danish settlement in East Anglia from the 9th to the 11th centuries.

22nd Nov. The Cult of St Edmund in East Anglia (Rebecca Pinner)
The history of the cult and the “after-life” of the most famous of the later Wuffings kings, as evidenced in literature, the visual arts, and material culture

29th Nov. Suffolk’s Deer Parks: 11th – 17th century (Dr Rosemary Hoppitt)
A new exploration of aspects of some of Suffolk’s 130 deer parks in the light of the documentary and landscape evidence.

6th Dec. Smiths, Soldiers, and Princes of pre-Roman Essex. (Howard Brooks BA [Hons], MIFA)
An exploration of the landscape of pre-Roman Essex, looking at the defended homes of rich metal traders, the Iron Age hillforts and other sites.

13th Dec. From Yuletide to Nativity: Christmas in Early England (Dr Sam Newton)
Rediscover the magic of Christmas with a history of the midwinter festival and how it was celebrated.

2008 Spring & Summer Series

Feb. 23rd Boudica to Rædwald: East Anglia’s Relations with Rome (John Fairclough)
A reappraisal of seven centuries of East Anglia’s relations with Rome.

March 1st Sutton Hoo and the Master-Workshop of the Wuffings (Dr Sam Newton)
An exploration of the artistic and technical wonders found aboard the great funeral-ship of Sutton Hoo.

March 15th Easter in Early England (Dr Sam Newton)
Rediscover the magic of Easter with an exploration of the significance of this ancient festival in early England.

March 29th Medieval Suffolk 1349-1500: An Economic and Social History (Dr Mark Bailey)
A new history of the most prosperous corner of medieval England from the Black Death to c.1500.

5 th April Beowulf and Sutton Hoo (Dr Sam Newton)
How the poetry brings to life the bare bones of the archaeology and how the archaeology reveals the reality of the world of the poem.

12 th April An Introduction to Runes (Dr Elizabeth Solopova)
A comprehensive introduction to the runic alphabet, runic inscriptions, and their cultural contexts.

19 th April The Iron Age in East Anglia and Beyond (Edward Martin)
An exploration of East Anglia’s Celtic heritage in the broader context of Britain and Europe during the Iron Age .

10 th May The Reckoning of King Rædwald (Dr Sam Newton) The history of the great king thought to have lain in state aboard the Sutton Hoo ship-burial.

17 th May The “Peasants’ Revolt” or Great Rising of 1381 in Suffolk (Dr John Ridgard)
A reconsideration in the light of a lifetime’s research of the Great Rising of 1381 with special attention to the “Innocent and Peaceful” county of Suffolk

7th June An Introduction to Old Norse Sagas (Dr Sam Newton)
A beginner’s guide to the sagas and verse of the Northlands.

14th June The Bayeux Tapestry and the Conquest of England (Dr Sam Newton)
An exploration of this magnificent embroidery and the great story it tells of the Norman conquest in the light of contemporary sources and recent work.

2007 Autumn Series

Sept. 22nd Medieval Suffolk 1349-1500: An Economic and Social History (Dr Mark Bailey).
A new history of the most prosperous corner of England , from the Black Death to c.1500.

Sept. 29th Exploring Old English Poetry (Dr Sam Newton)
A guide to the earliest surviving English verse and its tales of wonder, wisdom [including riddles], heroism, and romance.

Oct. 6th Ulfcytel and the Defence of East Anglia (Dr Lucy Marten)
The untold story of Ulfcytel and his heroic defence of East Anglia against the Danes in the early 11 th century.

Oct. 13th Sutton Hoo in the Light of Recent Work (Dr Sam Newton)
A look at the site in the light of the Prittlewell finds and recent research in Old English poetry, art, and genealogy

Nov. 3rd The Anglo-Saxon Landscape (Dr Rik Hoggett)
A look at the changing nature of the Anglo-Saxon landscape.

Nov. 10th Black Dogs and Haunted Fenlands of Eastern England (Dr Sam Newton)
An exploration of terrors of wetlands and how they were exorcised by Beowulf and his saintly successors

Nov. 17th St Edmund, Last of the Wuffings (Dr Sam Newton)
A reconsideration of the history and legend of St Edmund, last of the famous Wuffing kings and a patron saint of England .

Nov. 24th Beowulf and the First Dragon of English Literature (Dr Sam Newton)
A look at the Old English dragon, “richer in significance than his barrow is in gold” [J.R.R.Tolkien].

Dec. 1st Old English Gods Lost and Found (Dr Sam Newton)
The mapping of the lost continent of pre-Christian mythology.

Dec. 8th From Yuletide to Nativity: Christmas in Early England (Dr Sam Newton)
Rediscover the magic of Christmas with a history of the midwinter festival and how it was celebrated.

2007 Summer series

April 21st Monasteries in the Landscape with Rik Hoggett
An exploration of the history and importance of monasteries in the medieval landscape, using examples from East Anglia and elsewhere in Britain.

May 5th Old English Music and Verse Work Shop with Dr Graeme Lawson & Dr Sam Newton
Another chance to develop your knowledge and skills in a hands-on exploration of the Sutton Hoo lyre – its place in world music history, its musical character, and its use with Old English poetry.

May 12th The Keys of Middle-Earth with Dr Elizabeth Solopova
An introduction to the English, Germanic, and Norse sources which were the focus of Tolkien’s scholarship and which underpin his fiction.

May 19th Dream-Ships of the Wuffings – Sutton Hoo and Snape with Dr Sam Newton
An exploration of the East Anglian royal ship-burials and how our understanding of the rite of ship-funeral is amplified by Old English poetry – the day includes a guided tour of the barrows of Sutton Hoo.

June 9th Sutton Hoo and the Old English Heroic Age with Dr Sam Newton
Rediscover the almost lost continent of legend behind Sutton Hoo through an exploration of Old English and related Germanic and Norse heroic literature.

June 23rd Tawdry Tales: A St Audrey’s Day special on formidable women of Old England with Dr Sam Newton
A re-assessment of Old English female power using examples from pre-Christian times through to the 10th century.

June 30th An Introduction to Middle English Literature with Dr Sam Newton
A beginner’s guide to the treasures of medieval English literature.

2007 Spring Series

Feb 10th The Heirs of King Rædwald with Dr Sam Newton
A reappraisal of the history of the Wuffing kingdom of the Eastern Angles during the seventh century

Feb 24th War, Wheels and Woad: The Iron Age in East Anglia and Beyond with Edward Martin
An exploration of East Anglia’s Celtic heritage in the broader context of Britain and Europe during the Iron Age

March 3rd. St Edmund, Patron Saint of England with Dr Sam Newton
A reconsideration of the history and legend of St Edmund, the last of the famous Wuffing kings of East Anglia and a patron saint of England

March 10th Anglo-Norman Kings and Castles with Dr Sam Newton
A reassessment of the origin and development of castles in England in general and in East Anglia in particular.

March 17 th Defending the East Anglian Coast from Invaders with Alan Lockwood
An exploration of the means by which East Anglia was protected against raiders and invaders from the 16th to 20th Centuries

March 24th Beowulf, Botulf, and the Black Dog with Dr Sam Newton
An investigation of the tales of heroic and saintly exorcism of sites haunted by marsh monsters.

March 31st Easter in Early England with Dr Sam Newton
Rediscover the magic of Easter with an exploration of the ancient significance of the festival and the ways in which it was celebrated in Anglo-Saxon England.

2006 Autumn Series

Dec. 16 th 2006 From Yuletide to Nativity: Christmas in Early England Dr Sam Newton
Rediscover the magic of Christmas with a consideration of how the great midwinter festival was celebrated in early England.

Nov. 25 th 2006 Old English Gods Lost and Found Dr Sam Newton
An exploration of the lost continent of pre-Christian Old English mythology as revealed by literature and archaeology.

Nov. 18 th 2006 Cnut and the Waveney Dr Lucy Marten & Dr Sam Newton
A new history of the East Anglian landscape in the light of the research which suggests that the old kingdom was subdivided into Norfolk and Suffolk by King Cnut c.1020.

Nov. 11 th 2006 Alfred, Cakes and Ravens Dr Sam Newton
The moving story of how King Ælfred of Wessex survived his darkest hour, and how he returned to save England.

Nov. 4 th 2006 The Magical Protection of Buildings Timothy Easton
An examination of the archaeological evidence, mainly from Suffolk, for the protection of the home against malign spirits.

Oct. 21 st 2006 The Coming of Christianity to East Anglia Rik Hoggett
A look at the changing religious landscape of East Anglia brought about by the establishment of the new faith.

Oct. 7 th 2006 1066 – 940 th Anniversary Special Dr Sam Newton
A retelling of the dramatic events of the Year of Three Battles [Fulford Gate, Stamford Bridge, & Hastings].

Sept. 23 rd 2006 The Reckoning of Rædwald: First King of England Dr Sam Newton
A reappraisal of the history of King Rædwald – includes new research on his Continental connections.

2006 Spring Series

17th June 2006. St Botolf Day Special with Dr Sam Newton
An exploration of the history of St Botolf through the literature, art, sites, and landscapes associated with his cult. More details

10th June 2006. The Master Workshop of the Wuffings with Dr Angela Evans. An “ unravelling of the riddled threads of the skilled works of wonder-smiths” with the world’s expert on the art and archaeology of Sutton Hoo and related sites.

27th May 2006. Ancient Roads of East Anglia with John Fairclough. More details

20th May 2006. The Reckoning of King Aethelbert of East Anglia (martyred 20th May 794) with Dr Sam Newton. More details

6th May 2006. Old English Harp and Verse Workshop (with update on recent research) with Dr Graeme Lawson and Dr Sam Newton. More details

22nd April 2006. The Landscape of the Sandlings with Dr Tom Williamson. More details

8th April 2006. Arthurian Literature with Nick Groves. More details

25th March 2006. Formidable Abbesses of Early England with Dr Sam Newton. More details

18th March 2006. Resistance and Rebellion – the Norman Conquest in East Anglia with Dr Lucy Marten. More details

11th March 2006. The Old English Heroic Age with Dr Sam Newton. More details

25th Feb. 2006. The Making of the English Landscape with Edward Martin. More details

11th Feb. 2006. Art and Poetry in the Dream-Ship from Sutton Hoo with Dr Sam Newton. More details

2005 Autumn Series

10th Dec. 2005. From Yuletide to Nativity: Christmas in Early Medieval England with Dr Sam Newton. More details ……….

3rd Dec 2005. Suffolk’s Domesday Parks with Dr Rosemary Hoppitt. More Details ……..

26th Nov. 2005. First Steps in Reading Medieval Latin Documents from Suffolk with Dr John Ridgard. More details …….

19th Nov. 2005. St Edmund and the Last of the Wuffings with Dr Sam Newton More details ……

5th Nov. 2005 Anniversary Special: The Reckoning of Edward the Confessor [born c.1005] with Dr Sam Newton More details …..

29th Oct. 2005. East Anglian Castles and Landscapes and Edward Martin. More details ….

15th Oct.2005 Formidable Abbesses and Female Saints of Early England with Dr Sam Newton. More details …

24th Sept. 2005. Manuscripts of the Anglo-Saxon Age with Dr Michele Brown. More details .

2005 Summer Series

An Introduction to Beowulf with Dr Sam Newton

A special series exploring the Old English epic of Beowulf, the masterpiece of world literature which shows such significant connections with the East Anglian landscape.

9th July 2005. Beowulf & the Dragon with Dr Sam Newton

How the first dragon of English literature is awoken and the hero’s last battle and burial rites. More details …..

2nd July 2005. The Victory Feast & the Vengeance of Grendel’s Mother with Dr Sam Newton

How poetic art reveals a tragic family history and the coming of Grendel’s mother. More details ….

25th June 2005. Beowulf & the Exorcism of Heorot with Dr Sam Newton

The coming of the hero in his splendid war-gear and his wrestling-exorcism of Grendel in Heorot.More details …

18th June 2005. Beowulf & the Camelot of the Northlands with Dr Sam Newton

The building of the golden hall of Heorot and its haunting by the terrible fen-monster Grendel. More details ..

11th June 2005. Beowulf and the Beginnings of England with Dr Sam Newton

A beginner’s guide to the epic and its connection with Sutton Hoo and the Wuffings. More details .

6th Series

28th May 2005. Domesday Suffolk Castles with Lucy Marten. more details…

21st May 2005. The History of the English Language with Dr Elizabeth Solopova. more details…

7th May 2005. Old English Harp Music and Verse workshop with Dr Graeme Lawson. more details…

16th April 2005. The “Peasants’ Revolt” or Great Rising of 1381 in Suffolk with Dr John Ridguard. more details…

9th April 2005. Rædwald’s Heirs: The History of the Wuffing Kingdom, c.625-664 with Dr Sam Newton. more details…

19th March 2005. The Old English Riddles and the Dream of the Rood with Dr Sam Newton. more details…

12th March 2005. A Beginner’s guide to Old English Language and Literature with Nicholas Groves, MA, Bmus, FBS, FSAScot. more details…

19th February 2005. The Reckoning of King Rædwald with Dr Sam Newton. more details…


5th Series

Dec 11th 2004. From Yuletide to Nativity: The Old English Christmas (Dr Sam Newton)

Nov 27th 2004. The Tongue of the Dragon: An Introduction to Early Welsh Language and Literature (Nick Groves FSA [Scot])

Nov 6th 2004. St Edmund and the Last of the Wuffings (Dr Sam Newton)

Oct 23rd 2004. Art and Poetry in the Dream-Ship from Sutton Hoo (Dr Sam Newton)

Oct 9th 2004. Medieval Manuscripts of Framlingham (Dr John Ridgard)


4th Series

24th April 2004. Old English Runes and Runic Writing with Dr Elizabeth Solopova

13th March 2004. The Battle of Maldon and the Danish Conquest with Dr Sam Newton

20th March 2004. Northmen, Normans, and the Last of the Old English Kings with Dr Sam Newton

3rd April 2004. The Reckoning of King Rædwald with Dr Sam Newton

8th May 2004. Old English Harp Music and Verse Workshop with Dr Graeme Lawson

15th May 2004. Place Names in the English Landscape with Mr Nick Groves, FSA [Scot]

22nd May 2004. The History of the English Language with Dr Elizabeth Solopova

5th June 2004. The Pen and the Sword: the Impact of Writing on Anglo-Saxon Society with Dr Michelle Brown


3rd Series

20th Sept 2003. Romans at Sea – East Anglia and the North Sea at the Edge of Empire (John Fairclough)

an exploration of the Roman North Sea with particular attention to East Anglia.

4th Oct 2003. Beowulf & the Camelot of the Northlands (Dr Sam Newton)

an introduction to the epic of Beowulf with the story of the building of the golden hall of Heorot and its haunting by Grendel, one of the most terrifying monsters of English literature.

18th Oct 2003. Beowulf the Exorcist (Dr Sam Newton)

the coming of the young hero Beowulf and his exorcism of Grendel in the golden hall of Heorot.

1st Nov 2003. The Scylding Feast & the Vengeance of Grendel’s Mother (Dr Sam Newton)

how poetic art reveals the dynastic politics at the victory feast and the hero completes the exorcism of the Grendels.

15th Nov 2003. Beowulf and the Dragon (Dr Sam Newton)

how the first dragon of English literature is awoken; the hero’s last battle and burial rites.

29th Nov 2003. St Edmund: the Last of the Wuffings (Dr Sam Newton)

the history and legend of King Edmund, last of the Wuffings, and the coming of the Great Army of Danes led by the Ivor the Boneless and his brothers.

6th Dec 2003. The Viking Kingdom of East Anglia (Dr Sam Newton)

the triumphs and defeats of the Great Army of Danes and the subsequent Danish settlement in East Anglia under King Guthrum.


2nd Series

1st Mar 2003. The Reckoning of King Rædwald (Dr Sam Newton)

Another chance to reconsider the history of the king who may have lain in state in the Sutton Hoo ship-burial.

15th Mar 2003. Rædwald’s Heirs (Dr Sam Newton)

The reigns of Eorpwald, Sigeberht, Anna, and Æthelhere; includes the coming of St Felix and the wars with Penda King of Mercia.

29th Mar 2003. Wuffing Saints of the Seventh Century (Dr Sam Newton)

St Botolf & the saintly children of king Anna.

12th Apr 2003. An Introduction to Old English Language and Literature (Dr Sam Newton)

Another chance to learn about the language spoken and the tales told in early England.

3rd May 2003. Beowulf and the Old English Heroic Age (Dr Sam Newton)

How to rediscover the Old English Heroic Age through the study of world of Beowulf and Widsith.

10th May 2003. Tolkien’s Other Mythology (Professor Tom Shippey)

How Tolkien’s idea of heaven across the sea can enhance our understanding of the rite of ship-burial.

24th May 2003. Early Anglo-Saxon Coinage (Dr Anna Gannon)

A fascinating look at the development of coinage in the light of early Anglo-Saxon art.

14th Jun 2003. Runes and Runic Inscriptions (Dr Elizabeth Solopova)

An introduction to the study of runic writing.

5th Jul 2003. The Sutton Lyre and Old English Music (Dr Graeme Lawson)

A rare opportunity to learn about the music of Sutton Hoo from the country’s leading specialist.

19th Jul 2003. St Fursa, Angles and Angels (Nick Groves MA, FSA)

A day on the famous Irish mystic Fursa and his mission to the Wuffing kingdom of East Anglia and his famous visions.


In 2003 we continued with Beowulf and the Beginnings of English Literature, another series of two-hour seminars, this time on Wednesday mornings.

29th Jan 2003. The Building of Hart Hall and the Coming of Grendel

how one of the most frightening monsters in all of English literature comes to haunt the Camelot of the Northlands.

5th Feb 2003. The Coming of the Hero

Beowulf takes centre stage in the hall of the Danish king.

12th Feb 2003. Grendel’s Last Night Out

how Grendel meets Beowulf the wrestling exorcist.

26th Feb 2003. The Scylding Feast

poetic devices, dynastic politics and the prince of Denmark.

5th March 2003. Grendel’s Mother and the Sacred Sword

how the hero completes the exorcism.

12th March 2003. The Coming of the Dragon

how the first dragon of English literature is awoken.

19th March 2003. Final Elegies

the hero’s victory, death, and the rite of barrow burial.

26th March 2003. Wonder and Wisdom

the Old English Riddles.


1st Series

Our first series of Saturday courses was launched in the Autumn of 2002.

7th Sep 2002. Beowulf and the Ghost-Ships of the Wuffings (Dr Sam Newton)

An exploration of what the Old English epic of Beowulf and related literature reveals about the royal rite of ship-funeral at Sutton Hoo and Snape.

19th Oct 2002. The Master-Workshop of the Wuffings (Dr Steven Plunkett)

A close look at the masterworks of the Sutton Hoo School of Art.

9th Nov 2002. The Reckoning of King Rædwald (Dr Sam Newton)

A consideration of King Rædwald in the context of the history of the early seventh century and an appraisal of Bede’s description of him as ‘noble by birth but ignoble in deeds’.


We also launched Old English Studies, a series of two-hour seminars on Tuesday mornings exploring the language spoken and some of the tales told in early England about the Old English Heroic Age and the beginnings of history.

12th Nov 2002. An Introduction to Old English

A starter seminar on the language using familiar texts such as the Lord’s Prayer.

19th Nov 2002. Old English Heroic Poetry

An introduction to the Old English Heroic Age and some of the earliest English verse.

26th Nov 2002. The Old English Epic of Beowulf

An introduction to the first great work of English literature.

3rd Dec 2002. The Old English Elegies

An introduction to other fine examples of early poetry, especially the timeless elegies like The Wanderer.

10th Dec 2002. Poetry to Prose

The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle – An introduction to some of the earliest prose composition in English contained in that Old Testament of English history, the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle.