From Runes to Ruins: Documentary looks at rediscovering the Anglo-Saxon past

tom rowsell from runes to ruins

In his latest film, From Runes to Ruins, Tom Rowsell examines how people in England are reclaiming their Anglo-Saxon heritage, including its religion.

Putting together the jigsaw pieces of the Staffordshire Hoard

The front of the reconstructed sword pommel © Birmingham Museums Trust

Archaeologists and conservators working to piece together the thousands of items from the Staffordshire Hoard have announced they have been able to make two items: a pommel and helmet-band.

Cynethryth, Queen of the Mercians

Cynethryth Coin

Cynethryth and Offa were the ultimate power couple in eighth century England.

Anglo-Saxon skeleton shows leprosy may have spread to Britain from Scandinavia

Foot Bones of Anglo-Saxon skeleton - photo courtesy University of Southampton

The bones of the man, probably in his 20s, show changes consistent with leprosy, such as narrowing of the toe bones and damage to the joints, suggesting a very early British case.

The Oblate’s Confession, by William Peak

The Oblate's Confession

Read an except from William Peak’s debut novel, which won the Best New Voice award for Fiction at the 2015 Benjamin Franklin Awards

Cnut: England’s Danish King

cnut landing - from The story of the middle ages; an elementary history for sixth and seventh grades (1912)

There is very little historic information on King Cnut even though he was the most powerful king in northern Europe in the early eleventh century.

Fifteen Anglo-Saxon Cures for Minor Medical Problems

Anglo Saxon Cures Lacnunga - British  Library MS Harley 585

How did people Anglo-Saxon England treat a headache or indigestion? Here are fifteen cures for minor ailments from the Lacucgna, which include what to do if your finger nail falls off, and how Jesus Christ cured Peter’s toothache.

William of Normandy’s Claim to the English throne: Examining the Evidence

William the Conqueror

Whether or not Edward’s promise of the throne to William was genuine, it was later certainly made irrelevant by Edward’s deathbed will.

Moses as a Germanic hero? Biblical Poetry in Anglo-Saxon England

Samantha Zacher

Samantha Zacher talks about Anglo-Saxon Jewish heroes.

Building Materials in Anglo-Saxon Churches and Towers

Burnham Deepdale - St Mary's church - VisualMystery / Flickr

Church historians know that the Romans had used a wide range of building materials, which in theory could also have been used in construction during the Anglo-Saxon period.

‘Given to the Ground’: A Viking Age Mass Grave on Ridgeway Hill, Weymouth

given to the ground viking age mass grave

This volume describes one of the most exciting and unexpected archaeological discoveries to have been made in Britain in recent years, that of a rare mass grave of executed Vikings on Ridgeway Hill, Dorset.

King Edmund Ironside

Battle of Assandun - Edmund Ironside and Canute the Dane

It was the early eleventh century and England was being overrun by Vikings

Small doors on the Viking age: The Anglo-Saxon coins in Norway project

King  Aethelred II Penny - Numisantica (

Dr Elina Screen here discusses her work on the ‘Anglo-Saxon Coins in Norway’ project – a collaboration between the British Academy’s Sylloge of Coins of the British Isles (SCBI) research project and the Norwegian partner museums.

Researchers create genetic map of the British Isles

Image credit: Stephen Leslie et al/Nature

Many people in the UK feel a strong sense of regional identity, and it now appears that there may be a scientific basis to this feeling, according to a landmark new study into the genetic makeup of the British Isles.

Capital and Corporal Punishment may have been rare in Anglo-Saxon England, researcher suggests

Skeletons under excavation at Walkington Wold - photo by Rod Mackey

A long standing belief about early medieval justice was that many offenders would be executed for serious crimes, or face punishments such as amputations for lesser offences. However, an examination of archaeological data suggests that these kinds of punishments were rare in Anglo-Saxon England.

The Anglo Saxons and their gods (still) among us

Painting depicting the English god Thunor (the Norse Thor), after whom Thursday is named, by Mårten Eskil Winge, 1872

In this paper, I want to consider the arrival of Saxon culture in Britain, a culture which appeared before the Romans departed from Britain and continued after the arrival of Christianity which appropriated some Saxon traditions and practices.

How an Early Medieval Historian Worked: Methodology and Sources in Bede’s Narrative of the Gregorian Mission to Kent

Venerable Bede

This dissertation examines the methods and sources employed by Bede in the construction of his account of the Gregorian mission, thereby providing an insight into how an early medieval historian worked.

Danish Ferocity and Abandoned Monasteries: the Twelfth-century View

Lindisfarne ruins - created by  Thomas Girtin (1775–1802)

This article tries to explain why twelfth-century authors found it so important to invent stories of Viking brutality towards monks and nuns and what ideas and material they used to create their stories.

The Old English Translation of Bede’s Historia Ecclesiastica Gentis Anglorum in its Historical and Cultural Context

Bede - from BL Arundel 74   f. 2v

Bede’s Historia Ecclesiastica Gentis Anglorum (HE), written c. 731, enjoyed a great popularity among the Anglo-Saxons and Carolingians and was one of the most popular texts in medieval Europe.

Huge Anglo-Saxon Coin Hoard goes on display at British Museum

lenborough hoard - photo courtesy British Museum

The Lenborough Hoard, which consists of over 5200 coins from Anglo-Saxon times, is now on display at the British Museum. This discovery highlights the ongoing importance of the Portable Antiquities Scheme, which just released its 2012 Treasure Report.

The pre-Conquest charters of Christ Church, Canterbury

godwine charter

This thesis comprises a study of all the records of the archbishop and chapter of Canterbury that purport to belong to the period before the Norman Conquest.

Ceremonial Drinking in the Viking Age

A drinking scene on an image stone from Gotland, Swedish Museum of National Antiquities, Stockholm.

Drinking ceremonies played a very important social role in Viking Age Scandinavia and Anglo-Saxon England.

Who was the Best King of Anglo-Saxon England?

alfred the great king of wessex

There are many rulers and kings from Anglo-Saxon England. Here are ten of the most well-known – who was the best?

The Anglo-Saxon War-Culture and The Lord of the Rings: Legacy and Reappraisal

The Lord of the Rings - Aragorn

The literature of war in English claims its origin from the Homeric epics, and the medieval accounts of chivalry and the crusades.

The Early Medieval Cutting Edge of Technology

anglo saxon knife from the British Museum

Comparison of knives from England, Dublin and Europe revealed that the Vikings had little direct impact on England’s knife manufacturing industry, although there was a change in manufacturing methods in the 10th century towards the mass produced sandwich welded knife.

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