Saxons in Worcestershire
with Discover History
Thursday 24 May 2018.
At the final Speaker’s Evening of the season we were transported back to a Saxon Worcestershire and a time in the country’s history that was clearly a far cry from the label ‘Dark Ages’ that it had been given by historians. In reality it was a time when a society – a mixture of Romans, Britons and newly-arrived Angles and Saxons –embraced learning, literature, and art and built up thriving trade links with other communities and indeed across the seas. It was also a time when the Christian religion developed and monastic orders were founded. Minsters and churches abounded in Worcestershire during the Anglo-Saxon period well before the Norman Conquest.
Waterways were favoured over the crumbling Roman roads and became an important means of trading. Salt from Droitwich, iron ore from Kidderminster and Bewdley, pottery, food stuff, wool, were all transported via the river systems. This provided wealth for the region but it also attracted the Vikings who used the same rivers to move inland to attack, loot and burn the settlements along its banks. When not being attacked by them or other tribes, the Worcestershire Saxons, farmed their fields, reared sheep for wool, wove woollen cloth, manufactured tools and built houses. Charters still exist which go so show the importance of trading for Worcester and other settlements.
Today, and no doubt in the future, archaeological finds are going to continue to show that Anglo Saxon England was a vibrant period in our history.