Anglo-Saxon Britain


The Anglo-Saxons didn’t know how to build the stone houses and streets like those left by the Romans, so they built their own houses out of wood. They looked for land which had lots of natural resources like food, water and wood to build and heat their homes, and Britain’s forests had everything they needed. They surrounded each village with a high fence to protect cattle from wild animals like foxes and wolves, and to keep out their enemies, too! The biggest house in the village belonged to the chief, which was large enough to house him and all his warriors – and sometimes even the oxen, too! It was a long hall with a stone fire in the middle, and hunting trophies and battle armour hung from its walls. There were tiny windows and a hole in the roof to allow smoke to escape. The Anglo-Saxons settled in many different parts of the country – the Jutes ended up in Kent, the Angles in East Anglia, and the Saxons in parts of Essex, Wessex, Sussex and Middlesex.


Hel was the Goddess of Death. She was the daughter of Loki. She ruled over the land of the after – life.

Christians used her name to describe the evil world of the Devil.

She was probably also a Goddess of War. The Danes probably worshiped the same gods that the Anglo-Saxons did, before they became Christians.

The Anglo-Saxons became Christians in the 7th Century. Pope Gregory, sent Saint Augustine and a group of monks to England to persuade the Anglo-Saxons to become Christians.

Retha (or Hretha) was their goddess of victory. Her special month was March which, in Old English, was called ‘Hretha’s Month’.

It is possible that places in England beginning with RadRed or Read are named after her.


Anglo Saxon Jewellery

  • Anglo-Saxon jewellery used a lot of gold – more for its high cost and status than its appearance.
  • Anglo-Saxon jewellery, especially metalwork, was admired as far away as Italy.

  • Both men and women liked to wear jewellery in Anglo-Saxon times.
  • Anglo-Saxon women also wore pieces of jewellery hanging from their waist.
  • Some jewellers and goldsmiths became well known for their skill.