Wikijunior:Ancient Civilizations/Saxons

Where did the Saxons live?


Before the 7th Century, the Saxons lived in Central Europe (especially Germany). During the 7th Century the Saxons seeking new lands invaded England. For 400 years the Saxons (along with other tribes) became part of Great Britan. In 1066, William the Conqueror (a Norman King) seized control ending Saxon rule.

<-- The Saxons first lived in central Europe (specifically Germany) but invaded Great Britain in the 7th century. They lived there for 400 years as the lords of the land, but were taken over by William the Conqueror in 1066. -->

Archeologists discovered that the ruins of villages were small one room houses surrounding a great hall in the center. Saxons lived in large one-room houses called heals or halls. They were made of wood and had thatched roofs made of a layer of bark with grassy sod on top of it. The roof was low to the ground so that animals could graze on it. There was a window in the top of the roof to let light and air in. It also let the smoke out from the big fire used for heating and cooking.[1]

The Saxons first invaded Britain 1,500 years ago. Angles and Jutes also invaded Britain at the same time. The groups mixed and established the Anglo Saxon Kingdom which lasted until the Norman Conquest of 1066. According to Petolmey (a Germanic author during the AD 100s) the Saxons lived in what is now Schleswig-Holstein, Germany. During the 400s and 500s, the Saxons invaded Britain, and settled in southern and eastern Britain. By the 500s the Saxons had settled in most of Northern Germany between the Elbe and Rhine Rivers. In the 700s Charlemange conquered the Saxons and made their land part of his empire.[2]

Who are the Saxons?


The Angles, Saxons and Jutes are known collectively as the Anglo-Saxons and they were the largest attacking tribes.

What did they believe?


Prior to their acceptance of Christianity under Charlemange, the various Saxon tribes held many pagan or Nordic beliefs. The Saxons were forced to accept Christianity by Charlemange when he conquered their country.[2]

What did they eat?


The Saxons ate porridge made from barley or oats. They used wheat and rye for bread. They ate vegetables such as carrots, parsnips, cabbages, beans, peas, and onions. They ate fruits such as apples, cherries, and plums. Exotic foods such as potatoes, tomatoes, bananas, and pineapples would not have been available to them, as these grew only in the Americas at that time. They drank a weak beer made from barley. Wine was only for the rich. Deer and wild boar were only hunted by people who owned the land, so not everyone had these meats. Fish, such as Bottom Herring, Salmon, Eel, Perch, Pike, and Plaice, were caught in rivers and seas. [3][4]


  1. "Shelter in Ancient Civilizations".
  2. a b Word Book Millennium 2000 Encyclopedia #17.
  3. "Saxon's Food". Woodlands Junior School, Kent.
  4. "Food at".