Sometime towards the end of 1982..
The Romans used bricks concrete and tiles in their homes. Underground fires blew hot air under the floors. There was glass in the windows and floors were decorated with coloured tiles called mosaics. A big Roman house was called a villa.
After the Romans came the Angles and Saxons who cleared forests and built wooden homes. Their huts were cold and had dirty earth floors. The Saxons chief slept with animals at night.
The Saxon chief lived in a big hall. It had a platform at one end and a fire was lit in the middle of the hall. The walls were made of wooden planks.
Saxon boats were called keels. The Saxons settled down in valleys and near rivers. They had to drive away the Britons and clear away the trees. Saxons kept away from the deserted Roman towns. The Britons went away to live in the mountains and in Wales. The Saxons called their new country Angle Land and called themselves Angles Saxons.
Saxons Place Names
Ton / Ham – a farm or village
Stead – a house
ing – a family settlement
Most Saxons carried a spear and shield. The spear was about two metres long and had a iron head.
- Each Saxon village had cottages made of wattle and daub with a thatched roof.
- The thegn lived in a very big hall
- Everyone except the serfs shared the land
- Each field was divided into strips
- The more important a man was the more strips he owned
- Saxons grew wheat for bread and barley for ale.
The Saxons became christians
The Saxons worshipped gods such as
Woden and Tiw – gods of war
Thor – god of thunder
Freya – Wodens wife
Our days of the week are named after Saxon gods.
Wednesday is named after Woden
Thursday is named after Thor
One day in Rome Pope Gregory saw some fair haired boys being sold as slaves he said “where do they come from” the man said “they are Angles”. Pope Gregory said “Not Angles but Angels” So he bought one. He sent Augustine to Angle Land to teach the Angles to be christians.
Anglo Saxon Justice
Each Saxon had a money value called a weregild. The thegn was valued at 1000 shillings. Stealing was punished by cutting a hand off. Holding a red hot bar was called the Ordeal by fire. If the wounds heal in four days time the man was found not guilty.
Books and Learning
All books had to be written by hand. Most books were written by monks. A famous monk who wrote books was Bede. They wrote with a quill (feather) pen on creamy skins called parchment. Often the capital letters were beautifully decorated.