Basil Brown Memorial Lecture

The recent archaeological excavations at Rendlesham in Suffolk have revealed details of the royal settlement of the Anglo-Saxon kings of East Anglia during the 7th and 8th centuries.

If you found the results of these excavations exciting and intriguing, then here is the opportunity to learn more about this fascinating period of English history and the societies that existed at the same time, but elsewhere in England.

Rendlesham has clear parallels with the royal centre of the Anglo-Saxon kings of Northumbria, which was excavated in the 1950s. Located at Yeavering, its Anglo-Saxon name was Gefrin and it was established by Edwin, king of Northumbria, in the early 7th century. Edwin had spent time in exile here in East Anglia at the court of his close ally king Raedwald (who was almost certainly the man buried beneath Mound 1 at Sutton Hoo).  

Just as at Rendlesham, Yeavering boasted great feasting halls and cult buildings which may have been used in religious activities similar to those found at Rendlesham. Both sites were recorded by the Venerable Bede as having been the location of Christian conversion and baptisms in the pivotal early 7th century. 

The site at Yeavering is now being re-examined by a programme of excavation and research led by Professor Sarah Semple of Durham University, which has the potential to throw further light on Rendlesham and help our understanding of its development and function.  

The Sutton Hoo Society has invited Professor Semple to deliver the annual Basil Brown Memorial Lecture on the subject of ‘An Anglo-Saxon palace re-visited – Yeavering in the kingdom of Northumbria’. The lecture will take place at The Hold in Ipswich on Saturday 18th May 2024 at 11am. 

Tickets are available on Eventbrite (Events ( or on the day.  Members of the Sutton Hoo Society: £8, non-members: £10.

The Sutton Hoo Society was established in 1984 to support the excavations at the Sutton Hoo archaeological site at that time. It ran guided tours of the excavations, and its guides now work in partnership with the National Trust interpreting and explaining the history of the Anglo-Saxon burial site to visitors to the National Trust site. The wider role and aims of the Society are to advance public understanding of the archaeology and heritage of Sutton Hoo, the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of the East Angles and its wider context.

The Basil Brown Memorial Lecture is an annual event to which the Society invites notable speakers to deliver a presentation on current research relevant to Sutton Hoo and the early medieval period.

The Society’s president, Dr Angela Care Evans is former keeper of Medieval and Later Antiquities at the British Museum and has published widely on early medieval material culture, and Sutton Hoo in particular.

More details of the Society and its work are available through the Society’s website: Contact for more information