Signs of an ancient palace

254 Reviews

Star Travel Rating


Review type

Things to do

Date of travel

October, 2023

Product name

Rendlesham Revealed

Product country

United Kingdom

Product city


Travelled with


Reasons for trip


“Rendlesham Revealed” is an exhibition at National Trust Sutton Hoo and needs to be seen before it closes at the end of October. Afterwards there will still be Sutton Hoo of course, which will always be on a priority list for visitors to the East of England. Rendlesham was an unknown quantity until the past few years, although there were suspicions prompted by a few words of the Venerable Bede.

How it came to public knowledge is almost worthy of a novel rivalling the story that inspired “The Dig”, starring Ralph Fiernnes and Carey Mulligan. It had a similar origin, of suspicious activities on private land. The difference is that the thieves of Sutton Hoo were long dead, whereas the so-called “Night Hawks” were very much part of the high-tech present day.

Night Hawks is the name given to illicit users of metal detectors in their hunt for buried treasure. Genuine detectorists, as anyone who has watched the TV series “Detectorists” will know, request permission before starting to search a site and report anything they find to the land owner and, where required, to the Portable Antiquities agency. In the case of Rendlesham the land owner was surprised that a search was being made. Once the authorities were alerted permission was given for Suffolk Archaeology to carry out an excavation ubder the guidance of Professor Christopher Scull. The results are not visually exciting but they are of immense historical significance.

Rendlesham, as Bede stated, was the residence of an Anglo-Saxon ruler of East Anglia, a predecessor of the man buried at Sutton Hoo nearby. There were at least four large halls used for feasting and ceremonies. The complex was the largest of at least three in the area, allowing the ruler to progress between them to receive tribute. Subsidiary buildings were workshops for tools, weapons and perhaps jewellery. Rendlesham was also probably a trade centre, where imports were received and distributed.

Finds have not been as spectacular as at Sutton Hoo but they have demonstrated the wealth of the site. The exhibition illustrates the complex and the work done by local volunteers and schoolchildren as displaying some of the items recovered. For the most part these are lost property, as is often the case with archaeology. Naturally, jewels or dress fittings feature prominently. They reveal the very high standard of craftsmanship that existed in what used to be called the “Dark Ages”. Anything but, and well worth travelling to Sutton Hoo to appreciate before they are deposited in what we hope will be a local museum.


Join the club

Become a member to receive exclusive benefits

Our community is the heart of Silver Travel Advisor, we love nothing more than sharing ideas, inspiration, hints and tips between us.

Come feel the love on a Princess cruise. You’ll enjoy the MedallionClass experience others simply can’t, and it’s exclusively for everyone. Visit incredible destinations and be involved in the best experiences around each one of them.

Experience more with Princess and connect effortlessly with the world around you, spend time away with loved ones, take a moment for yourself, and fall in love with your holiday of a lifetime, every time.

With over 20 years of experience, Wendy Wu Tours has mastered the art of creating exceptional, fully inclusive tours which showcase the very best of each destination.

Each tour is led by a world-class guide, who will highlight the very best of their homeland, and includes authentic cultural experiences so you are not just seeing the sights, but truly immersing yourself in local life.

Say hello to ease at sea. Ambassador’s purpose is simple: they want to inspire every guest to experience authentic cruising, effortlessly and sustainably. Passionate about protecting our oceans and destinations, their ships comply with the highest industry emission standards and there is no single-use plastic on board.

On your voyage, you will receive the warmest of welcomes from the Ambassador community as you sail upon the friendliest ships afloat.

This is a global co-operative co-owned by local partners using real local experts and guides, which supports local communities, environments and wildlife. It offers travellers quirky places to stay, activity holidays and learning experiences. Not In The Guidebooks gets travellers off the beaten track into local culture with day experiences and longer, immersive adventures.

From wild wellness breaks in Wales to painting in Portugal, sustainable adventures in Mauritius to food safaris in Brazil, this is immersive, exciting travel.

Seabourn’s five intimate ships carry guests to the heart of great cities, exclusive yacht harbours and secluded coves around the world, while two new purpose-built expedition ships will combine exhilarating adventures in remote destinations with the sophisticated amenities of the world’s finest resorts at sea.

From the luxury of all suite accommodations to complimentary fine wines and spirits, and a no tipping policy, Seabourn exemplifies the definition of travelling well.