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Saxon Sutton Courtenay & Drayton
From Grub-Huts to Palace Halls

Saxon Palace at Drayton, near Sutton Courtenay -  Nash Ford Publishing

Gold Saxon Eagle Mount from Drayton/Sutton Courtenay -  Nash Ford Publishing
  

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Milton Brooch from the V&A -  Nash Ford Publishing

  •  Archaeologists have found a Saxon village at Sutton Courtenay. Some of it had been destroyed by digging for gravel.

  • The rest consisted of lots of grub-huts (with floors and walls dug into the ground) around at least two wooden farmhouses.
  • The Saxons lived there in the 5th and 6th centuries.
  • Finds from the grub-huts show lots of things were going on there:
  • There were more grub-huts just to the south-west. These are across the parish boundary in Drayton. They were later replaced by at least six huge Saxon great halls.
    • The main hall was about 25m by 8m. It was bigger than the Royal hall at Yeavering in Northumberland.
    • A smaller hall nearby was probably the ladies' bower (private rooms).
    • The others may have been guest halls.
  • These may have made up a palace of the Kings of the 'Gewissae' (pronounced Yoo-iss-eye).
  • Small parts of three halls have been excavated (dug up) by archaeologists. Few artifacts were found to date them, but they were early or mid Saxon.
  • People using metal detectors have found expensive gold mounts (see picture) and sword fittings in the same area. They are like those found at Sutton Hoo and date from the 7th century. They were probably grave goods.
  • There was also an important cemetery just to the south at Milton. Posh graves with 7th century 'Kentish style' disc brooches (see picture) have been found there. Another one was found at West Hanney in 2009.

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