Saturday Study Day Programme

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Autumn 2017

18th November

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The Forgotten History of King Edmund and the Danish Kingdom of East Anglia (c.855-917).
Dr Sam Newton (Wuffing Education at Sutton Hoo).
The day before the eve of the 1148th anniversary of the martyrdom of King Edmund, we shall attempt to chart what we can of the history of the last days of the kingdom of the Wuffings and of the subsequent rule of the Danish king Guthrum and his successors.  The history of East Anglia from the mid-ninth to the early tenth centuries has been largely eclipsed by the later legends of St Edmund. 
FULL – Please email to be added to the waiting list
25th November

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Prehistoric Pompeiis? An exploration of sites with exceptional preservation.
Edward Martin (Independent Scholar).
An exploration of sites, both Continental and British, where volcanic activity, waterlogging, dryness or an unusual chemical environment has led to the exceptional preservation of ancient artefacts and structures, enabling a fuller than usual understanding of the lives of people in prehistory.
2nd December

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Edmund Spenser’s The Faerie Queene: Myth, Monsters, and Romance.
Dr Matthew Woodcock (University of East Anglia).
This study day provides a structured introduction to the greatest poem of the Elizabethan age: Edmund Spenser’s The Faerie Queene (1590, 1596). After exploring how to read and interpret Spenser’s allegorical epic, we’ll locate the poem within the wider picture of Tudor mythography, and the religious and political history of Elizabethan England.
9th December

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The Old English Yuletide Feast.
Dr Sam Newton (Wuffing Education at Sutton Hoo).
Rediscover the magic of Christmas with an exploration of the significance of the great midwinter festival in early England and how it was celebrated. This will include a look at the Old English calendar, which reveals how the pre-Christian year was structured, and a consideration of how this calendar was transformed into the Christian year, in the light of early medieval art, poetry, and archaeology.


Spring 2018

 January 20th

Suffolk’s Valley of the Kings: Sutton Hoo and the River Deben.
Dr Sam Newton (Wuffing Education at Sutton Hoo)An exploration of the largely forgotten but clearly once rich history of the Deben valley and its tributaries in the light of what we can see of its archaeology, art, place-names, and landscape history, and especially of the recent work at Rendlesham.
January 27th Collapse and Recovery: the Revival of Learning in the First Millennium.
Charles Freeman (Independent Scholar) Starting with a look at traditional Roman education, we shall consider early libraries, how texts were preserved from the sixth century, and how learning was revived under the Frankish king Charlemagne.
 February 3rd The Oldest Extant Houses: The Homes of Medieval Rural Folk in East Anglia.
Philip Aitkens (Historic Buildings Consultant) A study of the little open-hall houses found in most of the villages of High Suffolk and some of South-east Norfolk; the best evidence we have of medieval rural lifestyle, varying greatly in plan-form, size and quality
February 24th The Kingdoms of East Anglia and Kent.
Dr Sam Newton (Wuffing Education at Sutton Hoo)On the festival-day of the famous Kentish king, St Æthelbert, we shall reassess the relations between the Wuffing dynasty of East Anglia and the Æscing dynasty of Kent during the sixth and seventh centuries, as indicated by archaeology, art, and documentary sources.
March 3rd Raising the Dead: The Archaeology of Anglo-Saxon Death and Burial.
Dr Richard Hoggett (Heritage Consultant) Burials constitute a large part of the archaeological record from Anglo-Saxon England, and this study-day uses the rich East Anglian burial record to explore the range of burial rites practised by the Anglo-Saxons. Subjects to be covered include the human skeleton, cremation, inhumation, the use of grave-goods and the impact of Christianity. The day will be illustrated with examples drawn from recent and unpublished excavations, as well as some classic sites.
March 10th Death, Loss, and Dragon Hoards: Early Anglo-Saxon Art.
Dr Angela Evans, former Curator, British MuseumThe Anglo-Saxons had a powerful visual imagination whose legacy is seen in the decoration of their personal possessions, but interpreting the designs can often be challenging.  The day will be devoted to looking in detail at the background and development of the extraordinarily complex ornament on early Anglo-Saxon metalwork, then following some of the motifs to their adoption on early manuscripts and, finally, to their flowering on high status metalwork during the later Saxon period.
March 17th St Patrick  (c. 390-c. 461) – His Life, Times, and Legacy.
Dr Maire Ní Mhaonaigh (University of Cambridge)The fame of St Patrick, patron saint of Ireland, is associated today with banishment of snakes and (primarily in America) green beer. We will examine sources for his life, times and legacy and explore the making of this very famous saint.
March 24th The Story of European Armour, c. 600- 1650.
Tobias Capwell (Curator of Arms & Armour, The  Wallace Collection, London) As a protective system designed to augment the human body, the history of European armour follows paths and patterns remarkably reminiscent of biological evolution in the natural world. In this series of lectures we follow the development of ‘human exoskeletons’ across more than a thousand years, watching as one remarkable species, the élite armoured warrior, evolves to survive in a dangerous and ever-changing environment.


Please phone or email to check the availability of places.  All Study Days are £38 each, which includes a full day of lectures from 10:15am to 4pm, access to the NT site, parking, coffee and tea throughout the day, and access to the NT exhibition. Click here for more details about how to book.  For your first Study Day there is a special introductory price of just £25.

Useful Information:

Please contact us if you would like to be kept informed of future events

Wuffing Education, 4 Hilly Fields, Woodbridge, Suffolk IP12 4DX
email: cliff at
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phone 01394 386498