Page last updated at 12:14 GMT, Sunday, 14 March 2010

Dig may find signs of Viking town in Thetford

Archaeologists hope to find signs of an old Viking town during excavations in Norfolk.

The dig at the Anchor Hotel in Bridge Street, Thetford, is being carried out ahead of a possible redevelopment of the area.

The proximity of the Little Ouse river means there is every likelihood of well preserved remains under the car park, Breckland District Council said.

It is expected the work will take up to six weeks, depending on what is found.

Plundered a monastery

The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle recorded that a great invading Viking army built a camp at Thetford in 869AD, the council added.

From their Norfolk base they plundered a monastery at Peterborough and killed the East Anglian king, Edmund.

Thetford was then developed by the Vikings as a trading centre and grew into a wealthy town.

In the 13th Century, a cathedral was built to the west of Bridge Street, within the grounds of what is now the Thetford Grammar School.

The council and the development partnership Moving Thetford Forward are funding the dig by Suffolk County Council archaeologists.

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