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Woodbridge is a town in Suffolk, East Anglia, England, about 8 miles (13 km) from the seacoast. It lies along the River Deben and has a population of about 11,000. The town is served by Woodbridge railway station on the Ipswich–Lowestoft East Suffolk Line. It is within a few miles of the wider Ipswich urban area. Woodbridge is close to the most important Anglo-Saxon site in the United Kingdom, the Sutton Hoo burial ship. With 1100 years of recorded history, the town has retained a variety of historical architecture. There are facilities for boating and riverside walks on the River Deben.
Archaeological finds in the area show habitation from the Neolithic Age (2500-1700 B.C.).
The area was under Roman occupation for 300 years following Queen Boadicca’s failed rebellion in 59 A.D. but there is little evidence of the Romans’ presence. When the Roman soldiers were recalled to Rome in 410 A.D., there was a substantial Anglo-Saxon (Germanic) settlement. It was the Angles who gave East Anglia its name.
In the early 7th century King Rædwald of East Anglia was Bretwalda, the most powerful king in England. He died in around 624, and he is probably the king buried at Sutton Hoo, just across the river Deben from Woodbridge. The burial ship is 89 feet long, and when its treasures were discovered in 1939 they were the richest ever found in British soil. They are kept in the British Museum in London. Replicas of some items, and the story of the finds, are to be found in the Woodbridge Museum, and the National Trust has built a Visitor Centre on the site.
Woodbridge Sutton Hoo
The earliest record of Woodbridge dates from the mid-10th century, when it was acquired by St Aethelwold, Bishop of Winchester, who made it a part of the endowment of the monastery he helped to refound at Ely, Cambridgeshire in AD 970. The Domesday Book of 1086 describes Woodbridge as part of the Loes Hundred. Much of Woodbridge was granted to the powerful Bigod family, who built the famous castle at Framlingham.