adapted from a design by George Bain based on the Book of Kells home Programme Bookings Shop The Wuffings .
Wuffing Education

Late Roman and Early Anglo-Saxon Essex


with Howard Brooks & Dr Sam Newton

in The Old Court , Sutton Hoo (map)
on Saturday, 27th November, 2010

The period covering the end of Roman Britain and the coming of the Saxons can be seen as one of the most intractable of all periods in British archaeological periods, with scholars taking opposed views on both the rate of decline of Roman Britain, and the extent of activity in the Anglo-Saxon period.

During the morning we will review evidence from excavations in Colchester and from Essex in general in an attempt to throw light on this formative period in English and British history.

After lunch we shall consider the origins and early history of the kingdom of the Eastern Saxons from the perspective of Anglo-Saxon sources, with particular attention to the Prittlewell burial.

Provisional Programme
  10.00 Coffee on arrival  
  10.15 From Roman to Saxon in Essex: the elusive Saxons - absence of evidence, or evidence of absence? – the evidence from excavations and landscape study.  
  11.15 Coffee  
  11.45 From Roman to Saxon in Essex: a Colchester case study – what excavations in Colchester tell us about the decline of the Roman town, and the Saxon occupation.  
  12.45 Lunch break  
  14:00 The Kingdom of the Eastern Saxons: what we can deduce from the early medieval sources of the beginnings of Essex.  
  15:00 Tea break  
  15:15 The King of Prittlewell: a consideration of what we know so far of the archaeology of the Prittlewell burial and its historical implications.  
  16:15 Close  

About Howard Brooks & Dr Sam Newton

Howard first dug in a Derbyshire cave site in 1969, and his first involvement in East Anglian Archaeology came in 1970 when he dug at Sheepen (Colchester) with Rosalind Dunnett. He studied archaeology at the University of Wales, and graduated in 1975. He worked for Colchester Archaeological Trust between 1976 and 1981, and again in 1985, where he was involved in the excavation of Roman Colchester. Between 1986 and 1991, he worked for Essex County Archaeology Section, mainly in directing the fieldwalking and excavation project at Stansted Airport. He is currently Deputy Director of Excavations for Colchester Archaeological Trust and a tutor for the University of Cambridge. He lives in Colchester with his wife and youngest daughter, and performs in ‘Am Drams’ and operettas in what little spare time he has.

Sam Newton was awarded his Ph.D at UEA in 1991 and is the author of The Origins of Beowulf and the pre-Viking Kingdom of East Anglia (1993) and The Reckoning of King Rædwald, (2003). He has lectured widely around the country and has contributed to many radio and television programmes, including Michael Wood on Beowulf and Digging for Britain with Dr Alice Roberts. Sam is also a Director of Wuffing Education, NADFAS lecturer, and Time Team historian.

Some suggestions for further reading
(useful but not essential)

Alexander, M., The First Poems in English (Penguin Classics 2008)
Bruce-Mitford, R., Aspects of Anglo-Saxon Archaeology (Gollancz 1974)
Crummy, P., Aspects of Anglo-Saxon and Medieval Colchester, Colchester Archaeological Report 1, (1981)
Crummy, P., City of Victory (1997)
Esmonde Cleary, A.S., The Ending of Roman Britain (Batsford 1989)
Faulkner, N., The Decline and Fall of Roman Britain (Tempus 2004)
Kirby, D.P., The Earliest English Kings (London 1991)
Museum of London, The Prittlewell Prince: the discovery of a rich Anglo-Saxon burial in Essex (Museum of London Archaeology Service 2004)
Pewsey, C., & A.Brooks, East Saxon heritage: an Essex gazetteer (Alan Sutton 1993)
Pryor, F., Britain AD (HarperCollins, 2004)
Swanton, M., The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle (Phoenix 2000).
Welch, M., Anglo-Saxon England (Batsford/English Heritage, 1992)


Please phone or email to check the availability of places.  Study Days are £38 per person, which includes a full day of lectures, access to the NT site, parking, coffee and tea throughout the day, and access to the NT exhibition.  Once you have reserved your place please send a cheque to confirm the booking. For your first booking please complete the application form to ensure that we have recorded your contact details correctly.

Wuffing Education,
4 Hilly Fields,
Woodbridge, Suffolk IP12 4DX
(tel : 01394 386498)

Email cliff AT
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