The remains of an Anglo Saxon warrior and his horse are to return to Suffolk, near where they were first buried, after being exhibited in Kentucky, USA.

The “Lakenheath Warrior”, unearthed at RAF Lakenheath in 1997, is a rare example of a horse deliberately sacrificed and buried with its rider — indicating the importance of the warrior. A bronze bridle was found still attached to the horse’s skull.

Peter Merrick from the Mildenhall Museum, where it is to be exhibited, said it was “one of the most important Anglo-Saxon finds ever”.

“Interestingly, the horse was also found to be lame, so even though they held the warrior in high regard, they still didn’t sacrifice one of their best horses,” he said.

Joanna Caruth, from Suffolk County Archaeological Service, added: “The horse was a fine specimen, about 14hh and aged five or six, so in his prime.”

Mildenhall Museum is applying for Lottery funding and hopes to raise enough to expand its premises and display the horse and rider together in the position they were buried.

For details, contact the museum on (tel: 01638 716970) or visit: www.mildenhallmuseum.co.uk

  • This news story was first published in Horse & Hound (21 April, ’05)

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