Evidence of a 23-metre royal hall dating back 1,400 years to the first Kings of East Anglia has been discovered in Suffolk.

The site was found by a community of archaeological excavations in Rendlesham.

Foundations of the large and elaborate timber hall built for the Kings, which is about 10 metres long and 10 metres wide, and is recorded in the writings of The Venerable Bede of the 8th century.

Ipswich Star: Experts working at the site in RendleshamExperts working at the site in Rendlesham (Image: Suffolk County Council)

For 150 years between AD 570 and AD 720 this was the centre from which a major province of the East Anglian kingdom, focused on the valley of the River Deben, was ruled.

Professor Christopher Scull, the project’s principal academic advisor said: "The results of this season’s excavation are of international importance.

"Rendlesham is the most extensive and materially wealthy settlement of its date known in England, and excavation of the Hall confirms that this is the royal residence recorded by Bede.

“Only at Rendlesham do we have the wider settlement and landscape context of an early English royal centre together with an assemblage of metalwork that illuminates the lives and activities of its inhabitants across the social range.

"Together, these are radically re-writing our understanding of the sophistication, complexity and international connections of society at that time.

“It has been wonderful working with our terrific team of partners and volunteers, who should be proud of what they have achieved.

Ipswich Star: School children also helped out at the site in RendleshamSchool children also helped out at the site in Rendlesham (Image: Suffolk County Council)

"Their work is a major advance in our understanding of the early East Anglian Kingdom and the wider North Sea world of which it was a part.”

Councillor Melanie Vigo di Gallidoro, Suffolk County Council’s deputy cabinet member for protected landscapes and archaeology, said: “The council’s Archaeological Service has had another hugely successful summer, overseeing work which tells us even more about our county’s and country’s history, and how people lived their lives more than a thousand years ago. It can’t be underestimated how important this part of Suffolk is to our understanding our local and national heritage.

“I’d like to thank the landowners for their support and enabling us to carry out the excavations on their private land.

"All the volunteers, local school children and charities are also key to making this happen.

"They tell us that they’ve gained so much from this unique experience, from making new friends, to being in touch with their history, to having space and activities to benefit their mental health.”