West Stow Anglo Saxon Village | Kidadl

West Stow Anglo Saxon Village

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  • Discover how Britons would have lived 1,500 years ago with a visit to West Stow Anglo-Saxon Village in Suffolk.
  • Step inside the beautifully recreated Anglo-Saxon houses, which have been designed and made just as they would have been hundreds of years ago.
  • Take part in Anglo-Saxon activities at the museum, including archery and pottery design.
  • Enjoy the peaceful surroundings of West Stow Country Park, a great place for a family walk or picnic.

West Stow Anglo-Saxon Village in Suffolk is an incredible recreation of a real, ancient village that once stood on the same ground. In the 1940s, archaeologists found evidence of an Anglo-Saxon settlement in the area. Over the next few decades, amazing work was done to rebuild the village, using the same techniques that the original Anglo-Saxons would have used.

The village was an experiment in practical archaeology. The scientists could only use Anglo-Saxon tools, but were unsure of the exact techniques that the original villagers would have used to make their homes and buildings. After a series of trials and errors, the scientists were eventually able to redevelop the ancient building practices and build a realistic version of the Anglo-Saxon village. 

Today, the Village is an amazing place to visit and discover more about what life was like there for Anglo-Saxons in the 5th century CE. As you step inside the wooden huts, with a small fire burning in the centre, you’ll feel like you’ve been transported hundreds of years in the past.

The Anglo-Saxons were a group of Germanic tribes that migrated to Britain in around 450 CE, and were the dominant group in England until 1066, when William the Conqueror won the land for the Normans. Anglo-Saxon times are often known as the “Dark Ages”, when most people lived in small villages similar to what you’ll find at West Stow.

At the Village, you’ll be able to explore the realistic Anglo-Saxon buildings, including a farmer’s hut, a living hut, and workplace. Inside the buildings, there are weapons from the era, as well as other objects that would have been important to the daily lives of the people who lived in the original village.

There’s loads for kids to do at the Village. There are dress-up opportunities for visitors, where you can pretend to be an Anglo-Saxon warrior. There are also talks given daily by reenactors, who give detailed insight into what it would’ve been like to live in West Stow 1,500 years ago.

The open-air living museum also hosts events for families to get involved with life at the village. You can learn archery or longbow, and there are also demonstrations of Anglo-Saxon tools and objects, such as pottery, weapon making, and woodwork. If you’re a fan of the Lord of the Rings movies and books, you can even take the Middle Earth tour at the village, which shows you what medieval life was like.

There’s also the Village's museum and gallery, which charts the history of Anglo-Saxon development. The museum’s brilliant exhibits describe exactly what life was like in the village. You can also see many of the ancient artifacts that have been found in archaeological digs of the area in the displays at the museum.

This incredible Anglo-Saxon village and museum isn’t the only thing to enjoy when you go to West Stow and visit Suffolk. The village is nestled in the heart of West Stow Country Park, which is home to 125 acres of beautiful countryside. It’s a lovely place for a family walk or a picnic, with vibrant wildlife and great views. What’s more, the park is also home to a brilliant adventure playground for kids to play on. There are sandpits, slides, climbing equipment, and much more. With its nearby picnic benches, the play park is a great place for kids to let off some steam whilst parents relax.

There are some great places to visit in eastern England. If you’re a nature lover, then a lovely petting farm could be a great option for you. Or, if you’d love to learn more about the area’s rich history, you could visit one of its magnificent National Trust sites.

What to know before you go

  • The West Stow Anglo-Saxon Village is open daily from 10am - 5pm. Final admission is 3.30pm in the winter and 4pm in the summer.
  • If you’re looking for a bite to eat during your visit, the café on site sells a lovely range of food and drink. The food on offer at the cafe includes afternoon tea, lunch specials, cakes, sandwiches, and snacks. The café is open daily from 10am - 4pm.
  • There are accessible toilet facilities in the car park of the museum and the visitor centre. These toilets also have baby-changing facilities.
  • The museum and cafe are fully accessible to wheelchair users and buggies, as they have ramp access. The village is mostly accessible, although parts of it are on an incline. The country park is also accessible, with paved paths throughout.

Getting there

  • West Stow Anglo-Saxon Village is a 40-minute drive from Cambridge and a two-hour drive from London. 
  • There is a large car park at the museum. Parking costs £2 for an all-day ticket.
  • The village is also accessible by public transport. The nearest railway station is Bury St Edmunds. From there, you can take either the 16 or 355 bus, which will take you within a 20-minute walk of the village.

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