Gazetteers of Anglo Saxon Sites

The Gazetteer for the Staffordshire Moorlands is an example of how even a district with little or no written history from the Anglo Saxon period still has evidence for their presence hidden away or not recognised as such. In this particular case four types of evidence have been found. Firstly Domesday Book provides not only the Anglo Saxon names of settlements but also the name of the Anglo Saxon person who owned or tenanted it before the conquest and in some cases the size and value of the property as well. Secondly, the excavation of ancient barrows mainly from the Bronze Age have revealed secondary Anglo Saxon burials, along with their grave goods from the early period. Thirdly from the later period fragments from Christian stone crosses have come to light, some in churchyards but also others in various locations. Fourthly Anglo Saxon artefacts from antiquarian collections were found in dark corners of museums and reports of modern day finds by metal detectorists appeared in local newspapers.

Click here to view the Anglo Saxon Gazetteer Staffordshire Moorlands by Harry Ball

A similar gazetteer for a different or more favourable district may well make use of additional types of evidence. For example charters are more common in some places while other districts may have attracted the attention of professional archaeologists to a greater degree. Other places may have churches with remains of Anglo Saxon fabric and some may even have been mentioned in Bede or the Anglo Saxon Chronicle. The potential for putting together an Anglo Saxon Gazetteer is there for every district in England, if anyone has the enthusiasm and desire to do so.

March 25th, 2019