Families have been coming to make a new life in
Our Anglo-Saxon ancestors also left amazing treasures which you can discover in the Anglo-Saxon gallery.
The earliest Anglo-Saxon settlers lived and died in an area we now know as Hadleigh Road. Nearly 200 people were buried here over a 90 year period. It wasn’t until a road widening scheme unearthed these ancient graves in 1906 that we knew about the treasures that lay beneath our feet.
The warriors had been buried with their swords, shields and spears so that their spirits could continue to watch over the settlement. The women were decked out in the finest jewellery; large brooches with strands of multi-coloured glass beads and shiny bronze buckles. Delicate glass cups were lovingly placed in the graves alongside ivory combs so that they would enter the afterlife looking their best.
The Boss Hall brooch
1600 years ago Boss Hall at Sproughton in Ipswich was yet to exist but for one special Anglo-Saxon lady it was where she called home and it was where she was laid to rest in one of the richest graves ever to be discovered in our town.
As her family gathered to say their last goodbyes, they would have been bursting with pride at how she would enter the afterlife. They had placed on her chest a special pouch containing the most beautiful brooch made of gold and set with hundreds of precious garnets. She also had a necklace of gold discs, one of which was made from a solid gold coin.
The Boss Hall brooch as is one of the star objects in the Anglo-Saxon gallery. Could you imagine wearing it?
In 1939 Ipswich Museum was asked to send one of its museum assistants, Basil Brown, to dig around some mysterious mounds on land at Sutton Hoo belonging to Mrs Edith Pretty. The amazing ship burial he was to discover would become one of the most significant archaeological finds of the 20th century and the treasures with in, including the famous Sutton Hoo helmet would become iconic images from the time of the Anglo-Saxons and put Suffolk firmly on the treasure map.
We’d love to have these fabulous objects in Ipswich Museum but they are now in London so that visitors from all over the world can see them at the British Museum. Plan a visit to walk in Basil Brown’s footsteps here: