EBK Activity Sheets



Dark Age British Ladieswear
How do we know what it was like in the Dark Ages?
  • Archaeologists have dug up the graves of lots of British women. However, because they were Christians, they usually didn't have anything buried with them. They didn't need to take possessions with them to Heaven.
  • The British were still Romans even though the army had gone back to Europe. They wore simple Romano-British style clothes.
  • We know lots about these styles from Roman writing and carving, and even from pictures on mosaic floors.
  • Most usual were ankle-length tunics covered with a length dress. Both could have long or short sleeves.
  • This seems to be the outfit worn by the Virgin Mary in Welsh carvings of her.
  • Clothes were made of wool. Rich people might have been able to afford linen imported from Gaul (France).
  • Cloaks were probably similar to men's. Northern British poetry tells us they could be chequed or striped and pinned with 'penannular' brooches.
  • Romano-British ladies were renowned for their long hair. Archaeologists have found bone combs and pins that were used by ladies to keep their hair neat and tidy and to pin it up.
  • Saxon-style jewelry, and probably clothing too, became popular with British ladies as trade with the Saxons grew.


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