Ashmolean Museum: Anglo-Saxon Discovery - Hilda and Ceolwulf's Day Ceolwulf and Hilda are bother and sister. They live on a farm with their parents, Burgred and Aelfwyn. They both get up early in the morning, when the sun rises. During the morning, they both help look after the animals and fetch water from the nearby stream. During the day Ceolwulf helps his father in the fields and around the farm. Find out more about Anglo-Saxon weapons Anglo-Saxon Families | Tha Engliscan Gesithas Anglo-Saxon Families The father was the head of the family in Anglo-Saxon England, and the spear propped up by the door symbolised his role as protector. In fact, the father’s side of the family was called the ‘sperehealf’, while the mother’s side was called the ‘spinelhealf’. The spindle summed up her role in the family, and possessions found in men’s and women’s graves confirm this. It may have been that the father was expected to be quite strict, and even a little distant from his children. The mother’s brother (‘eam’) may have been a more caring and friendly male relative, though he only visited from time to time. Old English has many more words for different family relatives than modern English, which shows how important the idea of ‘family’ was for them. You might have ‘stēop-‘ relatives, if your own parents were dead, or ‘fōster-‘ parents, if your real parents had given you away for some reason.
Life in Anglo-Saxon England 1. Introduction The Anglo-Saxon period lasted for some six centuries, from the arrival of Germanic invaders from the continent during the early fifth century AD to the Norman Conquest of 1066. 2. Anglo-Saxon kings were prolific legislators, and a number of law-codes survive from the seventh to eleventh centuries. 3. Life was more dangerous in Anglo-Saxon England than in modern times; and in addition to the hazards of war, feud, and capital punishment, Anglo-Saxons could be at risk from famine and epidemics, as well as from a range of endemic diseases including degenerative arthritis, leprosy and tuberculosis. 4. A substantial literature survives from Anglo-Saxon England in both Latin and Old English. Other original writings in Old English include sermons, saints’ lives and wills. About 30,000 lines of Old English poetry survive, representing a range of genres including elegies, heroic verse, love poetry, dream vision, narrative, religious poetry and riddles. 5. 6. 7. Further Reading
Life in Anglo Saxon England Everyday life in Anglo Saxon England was hard and rough even for the rich. Society was divided into three classes. At the top were the thanes, the Anglo Saxon upper class. Some churls owned their own land but many 'rented' land from a thane. In early Anglo Saxon Times England was a very different place from what it is today. By the 11th century things had changed somewhat. The Anglo Saxons also gave us most English place names. A Saxon church in Chichester Kinship (family ties) were very important in Anglo Saxon society. At first Anglo Saxon society was relatively free. The vast majority of Anglo Saxons made their living from farming. The Anglo Saxons grew crops of wheat, barley and rye. However farmers could not grow enough food to keep many of their animals through the winter so as winter approached most of them had to be slaughtered and the meat salted. The history of farming Some Anglo Saxons were craftsmen. Homes in Anglo Saxon England The history of English homes The history of food
Anglo Saxons Houses and Saxon villages We know what Saxons houses may have looked like from excavations of Anglo Saxon villages, such as the one at West Stow in the east of England. Here, an early Anglo-Saxon village (c.420-650AD) has been carefully reconstructed where it was excavated. Using clues from the what was discovered, archeologists have reconstructed the houses as they may have looked about 1,500 years ago. We know that the Saxons built mainly in wood, although some of their stone churches remain. Anglo-Saxons houses were huts made of wood with roofs thatched with straw. Much of Britain was covered with forests. There was only one room where everybody ate, cooked, slept and entertained their friends. The houses were built facing the sun to get as much heat and light as possible. The Hall The biggest house in an Anglo Saxon village was the Hall, the Chief's house. The Hall was long, wide and smoky, with the fire on a stone in the middle. The windows were slits called eye-holes. On the walls were shields and antlers.
Primary History - Anglo-Saxons - Anglo-Saxon beliefs History - Anglo-Saxon Law and Order Anglo-Saxon origins The Witan The Witan was the occasion when the King would call together his leading advisors and nobles to discuss matters affecting the country. It existed only when the King chose and was made up of those individuals whom he particularly summoned. The Witan's main duty was to advise the King, but its assent was not necessary for the King to take action. Nor did it help frame the laws, as the modern Parliament does, but primarily consented to the laws the King had already decided to enact. However, Anglo-Saxon Kings realised that they could not govern their territories without local support from these powerful men, and so began the delicate balancing act between the King's power and the power of those he governed. This larger group of noble advisors especially summoned was known as the Great Council (magnum concilium) and it formed the basis for the modern Upper House of Parliament - today the House of Lords. Moots
Anglo-Saxon clothes - men | Tha Engliscan Gesithas 5th and 6th centuries Men wore wool or linen hip-length undershirts with long sleeves, and probably loin-cloths. Woollen trousers were held up with a belt threaded through loops. A tunic was pulled over the head, and reached down to the knees. It was usually decorated at the wrists, neck and hem, and was long-sleeved. A belt was worn at the waist, often with a decorated buckle and strap-end. 7th to 11th centuries Tunics tended to have extra pleats inserted at the front, and sleeves became fairly tight-fitting between elbow and wrist. There was undoubtedly much variation according to region, period and status. Most clothes were made at home, and would almost certainly have undergone many repairs, or have been handed down, before being eventually cut up for rags or thrown away. Underclothes were not usually dyed, but left in their natural colour, or perhaps sun-bleached.
Ancient Music ~ Kate & Corwen's Homepage Historical Music We perform a variety of historical music, for museums, TV or Film, as a Walkabout act during Corporate or Municipal events and more: Viking Music Viking, Anglo Saxon and Dark Ages (600 AD to 1066AD). Early Medieval Early Medieval (1066AD to 1350). 19th Century and Victorian Napoleonic War. If you would like to book us for your museum, open day or other event, get in touch.