Rare Iron Age burial artifacts go on display in Long Melford

Long Melford Heritage Centre a collect of rare Iron Age pottery dating back of 2000 years discovered at Chantry House, with John Nunn Heritage Centre co-founder and Long Melford parish councillor.
Picture Mark Westley
Long Melford Heritage Centre a collect of rare Iron Age pottery dating back of 2000 years discovered at Chantry House, with John Nunn Heritage Centre co-founder and Long Melford parish councillor. Picture Mark Westley

The discovery of historic artifacts in Long Melford – thought to be about 2,000 years old – has been described as “a rarity” and “a bonus” for the village, after it went on display over the weekend.

A set of Iron Age pottery, believed to date back to approximately 50 BC, is now available for viewing at Long Melford Heritage Centre, after it was donated by Hall Street residents Robert and Jennifer Cole.

Long Melford Heritage Centre a collect of rare Iron Age pottery dating back of 2000 years discovered at Chantry House, with John Nunn Heritage Centre co-founder and Long Melford parish councillor.
Picture Mark Westley

Long Melford Heritage Centre a collect of rare Iron Age pottery dating back of 2000 years discovered at Chantry House, with John Nunn Heritage Centre co-founder and Long Melford parish councillor. Picture Mark Westley

Found hidden away in a box at Chantry House, the significance of the artifacts, which were used in cremation burials, was not realised until an investigation by heritage centre co-founder John Nunn revealed that the pottery group had been recorded in the Suffolk Historic Environment Record (HER).

After consultation with Dr Faye Minter, the head of Suffolk County Council’s archaeological unit, it was confirmed that the pottery was from an Iron Age burial discovered at Chantry House, before an extension was built in the 1980s, but they had never been deposited by the property owner at the time.

Mr Nunn, who is also a parish and district councillor, said: “To have such a complete set of Iron Age funerary pots, and in relatively good condition, is quite rare.

“Although Iron Age burials in Long Melford are not entirely unheard of, this is the first to go on display at the heritage centre.

Long Melford Heritage Centre a collect of rare Iron Age pottery dating back of 2000 years discovered at Chantry House, with John Nunn Heritage Centre co-founder and Long Melford parish councillor.
Picture Mark Westley

Long Melford Heritage Centre a collect of rare Iron Age pottery dating back of 2000 years discovered at Chantry House, with John Nunn Heritage Centre co-founder and Long Melford parish councillor. Picture Mark Westley

“We hear quite a lot about Roman Long Melford, but what is not so well known is that it was originally an Iron Age village, which was later occupied by the Romans, who integrated with the local British population, which then formed into a Romano British small town.

“This cremation burial dates from about 50 BC when Long Melford was solely occupied by Iron Age Britons,” he added.

To learn more about the heritage centre, go to www.longmelford.co.uk

Long Melford Heritage Centre a collect of rare Iron Age pottery dating back of 2000 years discovered at Chantry House, with John Nunn Heritage Centre co-founder and Long Melford parish councillor.
Picture Mark Westley

Long Melford Heritage Centre a collect of rare Iron Age pottery dating back of 2000 years discovered at Chantry House, with John Nunn Heritage Centre co-founder and Long Melford parish councillor. Picture Mark Westley