Bressingham's Saxon skeleton given Christian funeral

Island invaders

Anglo-Saxon gold pommel cap
  • The Saxons, Angles and Jutes began attacking Roman Britain from their native lands in northern Germany and southern Denmark in AD 410
  • The continental invaders were generally called "Saxons" by their neighbours. England is still called "Sasana" in Gaelic
  • By 500 AD, many invaders had settled and they occupied most of England east of a line from the Humber to the Isle of Wight

Source: BBC History

A Saxon skeleton has been reburied three years after it was discovered in the ruins of a burnt-out Norfolk pub.

The remains were unearthed when the Chequers Inn, Bressingham, was being demolished following a fire in 2009.

Tests revealed the middle-aged man was alive around 665 AD.

Following a funeral service, the man was reburied in the churchyard of St John the Baptist, Bressingham, just yards from his original burial place under the pub.

The service was held by the Rev Canon Tony Billett, and the coffin and headstone donated by local companies.

Diana Burroughes, a church warden at St John the Baptist, said: "He was buried on his back, west to east, which is a Christian way of burying him.

"It must be important he's returned to where he was buried originally and near to where he lived."

The skeleton is not complete and is believed to have been partially destroyed when the pub was underpinned.

A DNA test revealed its age.

Ms Burroughes said: "Not in our wildest dreams did we think he was as old as he is."

The 17th Century Chequers Inn caught fire on 10 October 2009 and has since been rebuilt.

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