An exciting project entitled Rendlesham Revealed is taking place. Over the next 4-5 years the archaeology of the Rendlesham to Sutton Hoo areas will be explored. This follows excavation, metal-detecting, field-walking, air-photography and geophysics which have identified the site of the Anglo-Saxon ‘royal palace’ at Rendlesham and much more of that early landscape.

The project is funded by HLF as well as local heritage groups, including the SIAH which is one of the project partners.

The project organisers are undertaking audience research to determine our interests and likely input into the project. Please find a few moments to take part in this survey, and if you wish, see how you can be involved:

Rendlesham Revealed Online Survey:

Further information:


(posted December 2018)

John Gambart Webb, M.A., F.R.Hist.S., 1925-2016

The SIAH is in receipt of another large legacy. John Webb has left approximately £30,000 to the Institute to be spent as it sees fit. His name will be known to few people now but the Suffolk Bibliography (1979) lists eight works by him dating from 1955 and he wrote a number of other articles for the PSIAH and the Suffolk Review.

            For much of his career he was senior lecturer in history at Portsmouth College of Education, but he will be remembered as an historian of Ipswich and particularly of maritime Ipswich in the early modern period.   Two volumes of his works were published by the Suffolk Records Society in 1962 and 1966, Great Tooley of Ipswich and Poor Relief in Elizabethan Ipswich (SRS volume IX).

            John Webb’s name will forever be linked with the history of sixteenth-century Ipswich and the Institute is now considering how best to commemorate his name in spending his generous legacy.


[posted November 2018]

We are very sad to report the passing of Dr Deirdre Heavens.

As well as being a fine scholar and author of a recent paper in our Proceedings on ’The Ipswich Town Governors and the Privy Council’, Deirdre was an active member of of our own Council and a valuable member of our team which organises the Wheeler Conferences. 

Her funeral takes place on Monday 2 July at Ipswich Crematorium (Cemetery Lane) at 2.15pm.

SIAH is proud to announce the publication of David Dymond’s new volume The Business of the Suffolk Parish 1558-1625. Our Vice-President has spent thirty years studying the parish, its government, church and key role in local society during a tumultuous period in English history. The book is written in David’s characteristically engaging style and is full of learning and beautiful photographs 

Dymond Book



John Fairclough: former SIAH Hon. Secretary


Suffolk education advisor, historian, archaeologist and teacher John Fairclough has died, aged 75, after a short battle with cancer.

Mr Fairclough first moved to Ipswich in 1972 to take up the role of Museums Education Liaison Officer after studying Classics at Oxford University and spending 5 years teaching classics at Ampleforth College and Royal Grammar School, Guildford.

For over 25 years he was well known for his continued efforts of promoting to schools the educational benefits of Museums across Suffolk and for many Ipswich school children he would have been the face of Ipswich Museum and Christchurch Mansion when they visited on school trips.

In the late 70's and early 80's he was pioneering in his approach to students and Living History Projects by reconstructing the past with children, through being one of the first to create environments at historic sites through which school children were able to fully immerse themselves in a full day of role play and drama. There will be many Suffolk students of this period who will no doubt fondly remember their day of costumed role play at Heveningham Hall, Orford Castle and Christchurch Mansion.

For many years he was an extra-mural lecturer for Cambridge University, UEA and WEA on a wide of variety of subjects related to East Anglian History and Archaeology.

He actively pursued his interests in local history and archaeology and as well as being one of the original trust members and the Vice Chairman of Ipswich Archaeology Trust, he also spent time as the Hon. Secretary of the Suffolk Institute of Archaeology and History, producing a number of published articles on matters of local history that interested him.

As well as this he was also a published author in his own right. His 2010 book "Boudica to Raedwald, East Anglia's relations with Rome" was a reappraisal of seven centuries of East Anglia's relations with Rome, with thorough detailing given of landscape usage over time, the economy, the development of communities and the surviving elements of long history that are still evident today.


Funeral: Thursday 5th April 2018 midday, Seven Hills Crematorium, Nacton, Ipswich.