When they were preparing the Park School site for development, archaeologists found a Saxon burial site there. There were 144 simple cremation urns with ashes inside, plus the remains of one high-status Saxon woman.
According to ‘Current Archaology’:
In October 2003 Archaeologists found the richest Anglo Saxon burials since Sutton Hoo at Prittlewell just outside Southend
More recently a paupers cemetery has been discovered nearby at Rayleigh, with some 145 burials. Most were made in a simple cremation urn such as that shown to the right- which was one of the better ones. It would appear that the rich and poor were buried in different cemeteries.
The richest find at Rayleigh was this necklace of 114 beads from a possible female inhumation. Most are plain and translucent dark blue, but the ?melon? bead at the extreme left is probably Roman, added to the necklace as an antique. All the rest are typical Anglo-Saxon types.