Rural Settlements and Society in Anglo-Saxon England

Rural Settlements and Society in Anglo-Saxon England

Helena Hamerow

Print publication date: 2012

ISBN: 9780199203253

Publisher: Oxford University Press


In the course of the fifth century, the Roman farms and villas of lowland Britain were replaced by the new, distinctive settlements of Anglo-Saxon communities. This volume presents a major synthesis of the evidence, now rapidly growing, for such settlements from across England and throughout the Anglo-Saxon period. Its aim is to explore what this evidence reveals about the communities who lived in them and whose daily lives went almost wholly unrecorded. The book examines the appearance, ‘life-cycles’ and function of their buildings; the relationship of Anglo-Saxon settlements to the Romano-British landscape and to later medieval villages; the role of ritual in daily life; what distinguished ‘rural’ from ‘urban’; and the relationship between farming regimes and settlement forms. A central theme throughout the book is the impact on rural producers of the rise of lordship and markets, and how this impact is reflected in the remains of their settlements.