From the end of Roman rule in Britain to the Norman Conquest of England, discover the history of the Anglo-Saxons: who they were, where they came from, their culture, their influence on modern-day Britain and more. 


A detail from a manuscript of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, showing an entry written in Old English.

Who were the Anglo-Saxons?

A whistle-stop tour of Anglo-Saxon England: who were the Anglo-Saxons; where did they come from; what languages did they speak?

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A historiated initial featuring a portrait of William the Conqueror, from the Chronicle of Battle Abbey.

The Battle of Hastings: fact and fiction

How did the Battle of Hastings start? What did medieval accounts have to say about the Battle? Was King Harold really killed by an arrow to the eye? Find out the answers here.

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A detail of the Sutton Hoo belt buckle, made from gold and featuring a web of intertwined snakes.

Early Anglo-Saxon kingdoms

How many Anglo-Saxon kingdoms were there? There is no simple answer to this question. At first, the Anglo-Saxon peoples were divided into many small kingdoms. Gradually, larger kingdoms started to emerge.

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A portrait of the Evangelist St Mark, from the Coronation Gospels.

Anglo-Saxon England and Europe

In Anglo-Saxon England, relations with the Europe thrived, from manuscript production to cross-continental marriages.

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A portrait of Queen Emma of Normandy, from the Encomium Emmae Reginae.

Women in Anglo-Saxon England

Learn about the changing roles of women in Anglo-Saxon England, including status, slavery and powerful female leaders.

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Blog posts

Hot off the press

Friday, May 14, 2021

Today sees the publication of Manuscripts in the Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms: Cultures and Connections. This new book brings together 14 essays based on papers delivered at the British Library conference held in December 2018, in conjunction with the Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms exhibition....

Digesting History

Thursday, February 18, 2021

You are invited to sit down with Sheffield Libraries at their digital dinner table at 8.00pm on 25 February to enjoy a menu of poetry, conversation, music and film inspired by our Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms exhibition. The Vespasian Psalter: Cotton MS...

Loan of the Lindisfarne Gospels to the North East of England

Thursday, February 4, 2021

The British Library and Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums are delighted to announce the loan of the Lindisfarne Gospels to the Laing Art Gallery in Newcastle for an exhibition scheduled to open in 2022. This exhibition will explore the...

Bede, The Dig and Sutton Hoo

Friday, January 29, 2021

This weekend has seen the release on Netflix of The Dig, a fictionalised account of the excavation at Sutton Hoo of an Anglo-Saxon ship-burial. Starring Ralph Fiennes as Basil Brown, a self-taught archaeologist, and Carey Mulligan as a very youthful...

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