A Short History of East Anglia.

The earliest signs of human habitation in what is now East Anglia are flint arrow-heads and axe-heads dating back to 9000 - 5000 BC.

The flint mines at Grimes Graves, Norfolk, were dug in the late Neolithic, around 2700-2000 BC. Flint-knapping continues in the area due to a small demand for enthusiasts' flintlock guns.

It appears that by the end of the Iron Age, Suffolk was occupied by two major tribes; the Iceni in the north and the Trinovantes in the south.

When the Anglo-Saxons invaded Britain in the AD 400's, they eventually established seven kingdoms: Essex, Wessex, Sussex (East Saxons, West Saxons, and South Saxons), Mercia, Northumbria, and East Anglia (three kingdoms of the Angles), and the Jute kingdom of Kent. The borders between these ancient kingdoms today still divide regions speaking English with different accents. These kingdoms were independent, but formed a loose confederation under an elected "Head King" or Bretwalda, usually the most powerful of the seven kings.

The kings of East Anglia were known as the Wuffings, after Wuffa, the first recognised king, who reigned approx 571 - 578 AD

His grandson Redwald is almost certainly the king whose magnificent ship burial was discovered at Sutton Hoo near Ipswich in 1939.

The next memorable king of East Anglia was Anna, (definitely male) who began a family of female saints and notable abbesses. He died in 654, and was suceeded by his brother.

The last king of East Anglia was Edmund, (not to be confused with Edmund Ironside, a later King of England) born about AD 840, who became king in about 855, and in 870 faced a horde of marauding Danes, who moved through the countryside burning churches and slaughtering villages wholesale. On reaching East Anglia, their leaders confronted Edmund and offered him peace on condition that he would rule as their vassal and forbid the practice of the Christian faith. Edmund refused this last condition, fought, and was captured. He was ill-treated and barbarously killed. His burial place is the town of Bury St. Edmunds in Suffolk.

By AD 878, East Anglia, along with Mercia and Northumbria, had been ceded to the Danes, being known as the Danelaw.

By ***AD, East Anglia had become an integral part of England.

Orford Castle

The English Civil War