After the Romans had gone (circa 420 AD) the Angles and Saxons moved in to fill the vacuum. These may have been the first to have a permanent settlement on the island rather than the fen edge at Cratendune just south of the modern city. It is in the age of the Saxons that Ely starts its journey towards its present nobility. Etheldreda; Saxon Princess and Queen, became the first Abbess of Ely after two spectacular marriages and some exciting adventures. It was she who found the first monastic house in Ely over 1,300 years ago. It was this foundation which led directly to the creation of Ely’s greatest gem, and surely one of Europe’s — the Cathedral!

One of the finest pieces on display in this gallery is the Grimston Jug, which is featured in the original Tudor doorway.

16th Century Pottery