Projects

Staverton – Wonderland of Kings

PART 1: ITS PLACE IN THE SACRAL LANDSCAPE OF THE SUFFOLK SANDLINGS

Jeremy Taylor

Download > Staverton – Wonderland of Kings Pt1

Staverton Park is a bold, otherworldly punctuated verse in the East Anglian sacred landscape, potentially unspoilt for nearly two thousands years. Few places on earth touch the soul as deeply, be this the mighty contorted oaks in the park itself, home to one of the largest collections of ancient trees in the whole of Europe, or the sheer overwhelming density of the trees in the area known as The Thicks.

Staverton is a place of mystery and wonder; it has a peculiar effect on first-time visitors who have no foreknowledge that the world contains such places.

Rackham, O (1986)*

Jeremy’s research and personal experience of this enchanting and eerily evocative landscape invites us to re-evaluate our understanding of the sites relationship with the more widely known sacred settings of the surrounding Wuffing kingdom in nearby Sutton Hoo, Snape and Rendlesham.

As with his previous study ‘A Ritual Landscape Considered’, we hope that Jeremy’s new research shines a light on this richly integrated environment; a landscape like no other, one that resonates so strongly today just as much as it deeply connects us to the ancestors of the Suffolk Sandlings.

Download > Staverton – Wonderland of Kings Pt1

Lying at the heart of all these traditions, in one way or another, is a clear sense that the arboreal or horticultural setting – whether natural or constructed – presented a sacred space in which individuals, through meditation, prayer and reflection, might open their minds to commune with supernatural powers.

Bintley, M.D.J (2015)**


Forthcoming:

Staverton – Wonderland of Kings:
Part 2: The Totemic Symbols of the Wuffing Kingdom 

This work will explore how this ritually planned landscape is integrated within systematic sites that were chosen for their mythological and cosmological functions, anchored around the most powerful natural features present.


The oak woods at Staverton are the forests of childhood, the forests of dreams. Here perhaps more than anywhere else I have ever been, the forest of the imagination materialises, becomes actual; here perhaps more than anywhere else I have ever been, a smallish piece of ancient deciduous woodland opens into the world of magic, the place of fairy story that we inhabited as children and lost, I had thought, for ever.

Maitland, S. (2012)***

* Rackham, O (1986) The History of the Countryside: The Classic History of Britain’s landscape, flora and fauna
** Bintley, M.D.J (2015) Trees in the Religions of Early Medieval England
*** Maitland, S. (2012) Gossip from the Forest: the Tangled Roots of our Forests and Fairytales