top of page
  • Writer's pictureErin

Anglo-Saxon London AD 410 - 1066

Updated: Jan 15, 2018

In the early Middle Ages London was left defenceless once the Romans left, and an invasion was imminent. AD 410 saw the arrival of the Anglo-Saxons, which were a mixture of tribes. Angles from southern Denmark, Saxons from Germany and the Netherlands amongst others. We actually got the name England from from the Angles.

The Anglo-Saxons founded the town of Lundenwic, 1 mile west of the Roman Londinium (on the site of todays Covent Garden area), but by the 9th century they had begun to occupy the abandoned city of London.

The next 600 years saw Lundenwic ruled by various Danes, Vikings and Saxons. The main series of events which occurred during this period include the Vikings occupation in AD 842, known as the "Great Slaughter", followed by the Anglo-Saxons recapturing the city led by Alfred of Wessex (Alfred the Great) in AD 886. At this point the old Roman city was the main area of population, and the redevelopment of the city began - the city was known was Lundenburh.

1013 - King Ethelred (descendant of Alfred) flees the Danish King Sweyn but returns when he dies. 1016 - Danish King Cnut comes to the throne. 1042 - When King Cnut dies, the throne reverts back to the son of Ethelred, Edward. 1042- Marks the beginning of the end of the Anglo-Saxon period, when Edward the Confessor (step son of Cnut) rises to power. He goes on to build the Westminster Abbey, which was the first large scale Romanesque church in England and a palace at Westminister. The abbey was consecrated in 1065 but Edward is to weak to attend, he died just 10 days later and is buried at the abbey. His death led to a succession crisis, and sparked the Norman invasion.

Where to see Anglo-Saxon London today? - The church of All Hallows by the Tower, Barking - St Pancras Old Church, Camden - Museum of London


bottom of page