Is industry site hiding another Sutton Hoo?
Does an Anglo Saxon nobleman lie buried under the Chilton industrial estate ... and could his grave hold secrets to rival the treasures of Sutton Hoo?
That’s the question being asked by local historian David Burnett, who made an unexpected discovery while researching a new book.
He tells the story in Chilton – the first three thousand years which Sudbury
Museum trust publishes on Saturday with a book signing launch at Sudbury Library.The evidence is a large
bowl in the Ashmolean
Museum in Oxford.
It came from an Anglo-Saxon grave excavated by Victorian amateur archaeologist Sir John Evans near Chilton Hall in 1861, but the exact location is unknown.
The large, shallow Coptic
bowl from the Eastern
Mediterranean is similar to one found in the famous 7th century ship burial at Sutton Hoo, but in far better
“It it a high status object and raises the intriguing possibility that someone important was buried in Chilton,” said David who is secretary of the Sudbury Museum Trust.
“The very name of the village comes from its Old English name of Ciltona which is found in a number of counties and usually translated as the farm or estate of the young noble man. Perhaps another Sutton Hoo is awaiting discovery.”
Suffolk County Council
excavations in 1996/7
revealed traces of a
Saxon building between the
new Sudbury Health Centre
and St Mary’s Church.
The profusely illustrated book opens with the village’s Iron Age people and ends with a summer wedding this year.
Along the way it covers the Domesday survey, speculation over the lost village, and the vain fight to prevent Sudbury annexing part of the parish in 1986.
Today the village faces the biggest change in its history – the Chilton Woods development of 1,250 homes.
Two constants at its heart have been St Mary’s Church and Chilton Hall, though both have seen many
The book includes research by three generations of the Herbert/English family who lived at the Hall for much of the 20th century.
The lives of ordinary people over the centuries are mingled with the dramas of kidnap, poisoning, and an exorcism.
That was before the impact of the Second World War when the quiet village had to cope with the arrival of the 486th American Army Bomb Group.
The book (priced £8.95 ) will be available from Kestrel bookshop and the Tourist Office in Sudbury, Landers bookshop, Long Melford and Great Waldingfield Post