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Burrow Hill - a Saxon island

Burrow Hill is just a long, green bump in the flat marshland landscape of the Butley River valley.  It is only 
15 metres above sea level - but definitely a hill dominating the landscape, which is why it was once an 
island.  With the imagination in overdrive, you can see how the place would have appealed to Saxon 
villagers between the 6th and 8th centuries.  Safely surrounded by mudflats, marshes and saltwater, and 
with the Butley, Ore, Alde and Deben rivers handy for communicating with neighbouring groups, the island 
would have seemed secure, and big enough for people to live on and farm for generations.
Burrow Hill was home to people for a long time.  Archaeological work in the 1980's revealed coins, 
postholes for dwellings, food remains, window glass, writing implements and evidence that these people 
could produce fine textiles.  A cemetery was excavated in 1980 that held hundreds of graves: wooden 
coffins were carbon-dated to a period around AD780.  The bulk of the hill consists of sand and gravel, 
and when it was quarried to make local roads some two hundred skeletons were uncovered.  Most were 
male, which inevitably gave rise to a legend that they all died in a great last battle between King 
Edmund's army and the invading Vikings.
There is an aura about Burrow Hill.  The wind whispers through the dry winter grasses that cover the 
ancient graves, and marsh harriers sweep across cattle-grazed pastures that once were covered by the 
tides.  I wouldn't be surprised if local folklore in the embraced the ghost of a Saxon warrior or two.
            Burrow Hill