The Saxons

Anglo-Saxons in Britain

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500 BC

What were Anglo-Saxons villages and houses like?

Saxon Villages l Saxon Houses

The Anglo-Saxons did not understand the Roman ways and would not live in their towns, so the villas, streets and baths were soon forgotten. They fell into ruins and became covered over with weeds. Roman houses were made of brick or stone and had a tiled roof. They even had glass in their windows and under floor heating. (Find out more about Roman houses here).

Anglo Saxon Houses

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. The Saxons had plenty of wood to use.

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. He lived there with his warriors.

The Hall was long, wide and smoky, with the fire on a stone in the middle. The smoke from the fire escaped through a hole in the roof.

The windows were slits called eye-holes. There was no glass in the windows.

On the walls were shields and antlers. The floor was dirty and covered with rushes from the river banks. Sometimes the oxen were kept at one end of the Hall.

500 BC
AD 43

Anglo-Saxon Villages

Anglo Saxon villages were usually very small. The largest villages had no more than a few hundred people living there.

The villages were built near natural resources. The villagers needed food, water, fuel for heating and cooking and materials for their homes and clothes. The natural resources had to provide the villagers with what they needed to survive.

The village also needed to protect itself. All round the village was a high fence to keep the herds safe at night from enemies and the wild animals of the forests - wolves, foxes and boars.


The Anglo-Saxons grew crops and kept pigs, sheep and cattle. They hunted other animals and fish for food. They made household goods and farm equipment from pottery, wood and metal, clothes from cloth they wove themselves. They traded goods such as hunting dogs and slaves for things they couldn't make, like glass, with people from other countries.

Look round an Anglo-Saxon Village

Who were the Anglo-Saxons? Who?

When did the Anglo-Saxons invade Britain? When? ....... Anglo Saxon Timeline

Why did Anglo-Saxons invade Britain? Why ?

How long did the Anglo-Saxons stay in England? How long ?

Where did the Anglo-Saxons Settle in Britain? - Settle

What Anglo Saxon Place names still exist today? - Place names

What Religion did the Anglo-Saxons follow? - Religion

Where do the names of the days of the week originate from? Days of the Week

Why is Sutton Hoo famous? Sutton Hoo

What did the Anglo-Saxons Eat and Drink? Food and Drink

Who invaded England after the Anglo-Saxons? Who invaded next?

Who was the last Anglo Saxon King and where did he die? Last Saxon King

Other Saxon websites

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I teach computers at The Granville School and St. John's Primary School in Sevenoaks Kent.