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. 

Articles

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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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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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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The Danish and Norman conquests of England

The 11th century witnessed two conquests of England, first by the Danes, and then by the Normans. Here, we find out more about the invasions – together with their consequences, both on the English language and the government.

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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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Featured collection items

Blog posts

Audio description tour of Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms

Friday, January 11, 2019

On 17 January, the British Library is hosting an audio description tour of our landmark Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms exhibition. This tour is designed specifically for blind and partially sighted visitors, and it will be delivered and audio-described by a member of...

Heathens, pagans, Danes …. Vikings?

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

‘Your tragic suffering brings me sorrow, since the pagans have desecrated God’s sanctuary, shed the blood of saints around the altar, laid waste the house of our hope and trampled the bodies of the saints like dung in the street.’...

Round up of our Manuscripts in the Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms conference

Saturday, January 5, 2019

On 13 and 14 December 2018, twenty-two world-leading experts on Anglo-Saxon manuscripts gathered at the British Library to present their research to an international audience of over 250 academics, postgraduate students, library professionals and members of the public. This major...

The Anglo-Saxon origins of the English counties

Thursday, January 3, 2019

At Christmas 1085, William the Conqueror commissioned a great survey of the land and property in England. The information gathered during that survey is recorded in three manuscripts, Great Domesday, Exon Domesday and Little Domesday, which together list the information...

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