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The West Stow Anglo-Saxon Village

Discovery & Excavation
The chance discovery of fragments of pottery earthed during a trial for sand and gravel extraction led to the excavation of West Stow. Between 1965 and 1972 the site was stripped and excavated. Luckily the area had been covered with a sand dune since the 13th century, giving the archaeologists a unique opportunity to study an entire Anglo-Saxon village. Most of the timber had rotted away, but there was enough evidence to plot the changes in the village between the 5th and 7th centuries.

At the end of the excavations it was decided to reconstruct the village using the tools & techniques available to the Anglo-Saxons to try and get a better understanding of our ancestors. Each reconstruction tests different ideas.
The houses have been reconstructed complete with benches, bed boxes and other fittings.

Detail of house construction

And during the last few years at special times, the village has been lived in by groups of costumed Saxons which has turned West Stow into a truly living village.

Scenes of village life
Inside an Anglo-Saxon house

The Anglo-Saxon Village is set in a 125 acre country park which has a heathland nature reserve of woods, a river & a lake.
The Visitor Centre (which has disabled access) has a display chronicling the history and development of the park and it's natural history.
There is also a Shop & Cafe, Children's pay area, Nature trail and Picnic area.

Anglo-Saxon CentreAnglo-Saxon jewelryInside the Anglo-Saxon Centre

The Anglo-Saxon Centre contains objects from this settlement site and adjacent cemetery, and information panels which help to interpret the objects and the lives of the people that lived here.

Opening Times
The Village & Anglo-Saxon Centre: daily 10am to 5pm.
Last admission 4pm (3.30pm in winter)
Cafe/Shop: daily 11am to 4pm
Please note: Dogs are not allowed in the Village.

How to get there
The Anglo-Saxon village is in West Stow Country Park, 6 miles NW of Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk on the A1101. Follow the 'Anglo Saxon Village' signs from the A14, A11 & A1101.

Further Information
For details of the Village, the Educational Service, the Country Park, and other information, please telephone the Visitor Centre on 01284 728718, fax 01284 728277, e-mail, or write to
West Stow Country Park & Anglo-Saxon Village
The Visitor Centre
Icklingham Road
West Stow
Bury St Edmunds IP28 6HG

Visit the West Stow web page at

Photographs by Ken Ward

Updated 02 May 2007