Excavation of an early Anglo-Saxon settlement at Culford

Our excavation ahead of the development of a new hockey pitch at Culford School, Culford, Suffolk has now drawn to a close…

Excavations in progress at Culford, with the visiting CSV Ipswich film team

Situated within a walled post-medieval garden in the grounds of the former Culford Hall we were expecting to find further evidence of prehistoric occupation, as indicated by a previous excavation nearby and earlier an evaluation, but instead the excavation has been dominated by the discovery of five early Anglo-Saxon sunken featured buildings or SFB’s, a handful of associated rubbish pits, and a rich range of finds, including pottery, faunal remains, hammerscale fragments, bone pins and a decorated bone comb.

A fully excavated SFB at Culford

The SFB’s lie on a slight slope descending to a tributary of the River Lark, a similar position to that of the famous Early Anglo-Saxon village at West Stow which lies 2 miles to the west. Although we are probably only seeing a part of a larger settlement the excavation results are going to add to our understanding of how the early Anglo-Saxon population was settling in Suffolk.

Anglo-Saxon bone comb from the excavations at Culford

Early Anglo-Saxon decorated bone handle or comb plate from excavations at Culford

While the excavation was in progress we were able to show 12 classes of pupils from the school around their excavation site (some 240 children aged 10-14) and also gave classroom based presentations at both Culford and nearby Sebert Wood primary, Bury St Edmunds, who happened to be studying the Anglo-Saxons at the time. We also helped a team from CSV Ipswich who are making a series of films with Heritage Lottery funding about immigration into Suffolk.

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