Saxon Gloucestershire

The discovery of a new Anglo-Saxon site in Gloucestershire was reported in the Medieval News today. It is basically one good size hall (11 meters or 36 feet long) with a couple ditches, a pit with Anglo-Saxon pottery, and two skeletons that may be Anglo-Saxon. The article suggests that the site dates to the 6th to 8th century and expresses surprise that Anglo-Saxons were found there that early. The implication is that this came from Cotswold Archaeology but they are not actually quoted dating it.

So why the surprise? The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle says that three British kings were defeated at the battle of Derham in 577 and that the English then took the cities of Gloucester, Cirencester and Bath. So this is 6th century, and they date the site to 6th to 8th century; 223 years of that is after the battle of Derham. Now according to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle the British put up a good fight for many more years, but clearly the English would have been moving into the area from the 6th century. Besides in these border areas it is likely that there were Anglo-Saxons living under British kings and certainly Britons living under Anglo-Saxon kings.

Still, its a good find and its nice the school kids are getting to learn from the site. Hopefully as they continue to excavate they will find more.

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One comment on “Saxon Gloucestershire

  1. Martin Smith says:

    Remind me of the name of the very old church near Tewkesbury…? And I remember Dr and Mrs Taylor lecturing on another old church out west, would that be near Bradford-on-Avon? – archetypally English place. The Taylors were impressive…Like characters out of a novel by Irish Murdoch. You got the impression that the old Anglo-Saxon churches themselves owed their allegiance and rason d’etre to Dr Taylor….

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