Anglo-Saxon England

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The Anglo-Saxon period of England lasted roughly from the 5th century until the defeat of Harold Godwinson in 1066.


At the beginning of the 6th century England was populated by Brythonic Celts and a migrant population of Angles, Saxons and Danes. These groups gradually encroached, supported by further immigration from mainland Europe, displacing the British population. With the remnants of Celtic power pushed to the west in Wales, Cumbria and Cornwall, numerous Anglo-Saxon kingdoms began to emerge. The seven most powerful, known as the Heptarchy, were successively united by war, until in 829 Egbert was named King of all England.


The Anglo-Saxon period in England can divided into three periods:

  • 410-650 - Early Anglo-Saxon Period
  • 650-800 - Middle Anglo-Saxon Period
  • 800-1066 - Late Anglo-Saxon England


Main article: Old English

The Old English language spoken by the Anglo-Saxons was a West Germanic language, related to Old Frisian and Old-Saxon.


Main article: Old English Names

Arts and Sciences

Music and poetry

Main article: Anglo-Saxon Poetry

Very little is known about Anglo Saxon music, as only a small amount was ever written down. Several instruments are known about, some through archaeological digs.

Anglo-Saxon poetry was mainly alliterative but end rhyme was sometimes used as in, for example, the Riming Poem.

Fibre arts


Main article: Anglo-Saxon clothing

Most of what is known about Anglo-Saxon clothing has been learned through manuscripts and archaeological finds. In appearance it seems very similar to contemporary continental clothing. Wool and common natural colours predominated, although for the upper classes more exotic dyes and fabrics were often used.

Equipment for Combat

Main article: Saxon fighting kit



  1. History of Anglo-Saxons (1831) by Francis Palgrave - As this was written during the 19th century, be aware that the information provided may not be completely accurate.
  2. Married Women's Property in Anglo-Saxon and Anglo-Norman Law and the Origin of the Common-Law Dower by Florence Griswold Buckstaff, Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, Vol. 4, (Sep., 1893), pp. 33-64, Sage Publications, Inc.