Why it wasn't
- Lots of the Romano-British
lived in towns during Roman times. They were centres of government and
- When the Romans
left Britain, there was no more central government. Trade contacts
disappeared and so did many jobs. There were few reasons left to live in towns.
Towns were easy to find. They were on low ground and were easy for the
Saxons to attack.
- The town walls were difficult
& expensive to repair. There was no Roman local government to pay
for it any more. When they began to fall down, it was unsafe to stay
in the towns.
- Some local
kings used them as their capitals for a while.
- Other towns were a long way from
Saxon areas, like at Carlisle. People never stopped living in these
- The British seem to have given
away some of their towns to the Church. Abbeys or Cathedrals were
built there, like at Caerwent and Caerleon.
- Some of the British may have
been driven away and their town buildings
taken down by the Saxons, like at Silchester.
- Some towns were quickly taken
over by the Saxons, like at Canterbury and Winchester.
- The Saxons did not usually live
- The Saxons also sometimes gave
the towns away to the Church. Abbeys or Cathedrals were built there,
like at London and Dorchester-on-Thames.
- Some Saxon kings built their
palaces in old Romano-British towns, like at Winchester and York.
- In the 7th century, the towns
might also be split up into a number of 'estates' (an area of land
with a big house at the centre).
- As well as the King, important
thanes and bishops would live in great halls there. They might also
have watch-towers built of stone.
- Proper town life only became
popular again in the 8th century.
- Some Romano-British towns were
turned into Saxon walled towns in the