EBK Activity Sheets


in the Dark Ages
  • The first Saxons didn't like living in old British towns.
  • By the late 7th century, the Saxons began to set up their own towns. This may have been organised by a local king.
  • The towns were big centres of industry (making things) and trade (selling things). So they were often on big rivers or by the sea. Ships from abroad could reach these places easily.
  • They are sometimes called 'emporia' (the plural of 'emporium').
  • Today these towns have the word 'wich' in them. A good example is Ipswich in Suffolk.
  • Early Saxon London was around the Strand. This was west of the old Romano-British city. It was known as Londonwic. Today, this name remains in the road 'Aldwich' meaning the 'Old Wich'.
  • Archaeologists have dug up big areas of Saxon Southampton. This place was called Hamwic (see picture).
  • The houses and workshops were made of wood. They had thatched roofs. They were similar to those in villages.
  • There were lots of industries at work. These included working in metal, glass, bone and cloth.
  • There were also two wooden churches in Hamwic.

Click to find out: All about Saxon Walled Towns.

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