seaxe left Anglo Saxon History

Land Changes effecting Anglo Saxon settlements

seaxe right

Our appreciation goes to Anglo Saxon Chronicles for their fabulous website recording the different versions of the Chronicles.
The invasion by the Saxons, Jutes and Angles was very much influenced by the physical world around them as they were mostly sea going peoples. The initial landings were effected by a number of factors, these included coastlines, marshland, tidal rivers that progressed a long way inland, the Forest of Andredsweald and not least the Roman Legacy.
To begin with we need to look at the evidence of the Saxon landings, which is mostly derived from the 'Anglo Saxon Chronicles' a collection of annals in Old English chronicling the history of the Anglo-Saxons which was created late in the 9th century, probably in Wessex, during the reign of Alfred the Great. Multiple copies were made of that original which were distributed to monasteries across England, where they were independently updated, nine copies are still in existance.

Secondly we need to look at the land and its shape, as this defines when and where the Saxons landed, settled and lived, and in turn what they did with the land around. The Romans called a great forest that stretched from near Ashford to Hampshire, aproximately 30 miles across as Silva-Anderida the saxons knew it as Andredesleage and later Andredesweald, this was thought of as impassible, however let us see.

We also need to look at the Roman infrastructure as this was still much in evidence when the Saxons invaded as most of the Roman roads, villas, mines and farms would still be in regular use by the local inhabitants of the South East.

The majority of the earliest recorded place names in England were written by French Monks writing in Latin from the spoken word and scribed into the Domesday Book of AD1086. This potentially provides a multitude of spelling variations for names as local pronunciations and dialects may not have been easy to understand or phonetically easy to translate into Latin by the monks.

Finally we believe that Saxon village names actually describe what the village did or where it was, rather than the usual belief that the names were personal names describing who owned areas.

External References in no particular order :-
Anglo Saxon Chronicles
Online Anglo Saxon dictionary
Online Etymology dictionary
Open Domesday Book - The first free online copy of the Domesday Book
The Ermine Street Guard Roman re-enactment and research Society
The "Kent A" cadastre - page 5 - Peterson 2002
Archaeologia Cantiana Online
Romney Marsh Research Trust
Romney Marsh the Fifth Continent
VillageNet the reference guide to villages in Kent & Sussex
Global warming Flood Maps
The Anglo Saxon Chronicles
Google Maps - the core of the system
GeoPlaner - Useful site for plotting map data
Julius Caesar's Gallic Wars 55BC(Books 4 & 5)
Wikipedia - Caesar's invasions of Britain
Wikipedia - Portus Istus
The Geography of Claudius Ptolemy (Bill Thayers)
Runetree Beowulf
Bayeux Tapestry Online
The Secrets of the Norman Invasion
Chronicles of John of Worcester
Battle Historic Society
Binsted village website(Mearcredesburnan Steðe)
The Spears of Andred
Find British Archaelogical Sites
Wealden Iron Research Group
Topographic Map of the UK

Copyright 2013 - 2024
Contact Simon
Author Simon M - Last updated - 13/01/2022 07:34
All pages on our site (Sitemap)