Book 2, Chapter 6, The End of the Ninth Century – Ancient Towns and Highways

The collective house had various names in Anglo Saxon. It was called hus a house, a general term for all residences great or small, it was called heal, or hall, because that was the most important part of the building, as gentlemen’s seats are still called halls, it was called ham, as being the residence or home of its possessor, and it was called tun, in regard of its enclosure. The Anglo Saxons chose for their country houses a position which commanded a prospect around, because such sites afforded protection at the same time that they enabled the possessor to overlook his own landed possessions.

Houses in those times were seldom of long duration, we learn from the domestic anecdotes given in saints’ legends and other writings, that they were very frequently burnt by accidental fires, thus the main part of the house, the timber work, was destroyed, and as ground was then not valuable, and there was no want of space, it was much easier to build a new house in another spot, and leave the old foundations till they were buried in rubbish and earth, than to clear them away in order to rebuild on the same site. Earth soon accumulated under such circumstances, and this accounts for the finding, even in towns, so much of the remains of the houses of an early period undisturbed, at a considerable depth under the present surface of the ground.

Chapter 6, Ancient Towns and Highways

Domestic life of the Anglo-Saxons



Bells and Churches

Ancient Towns


Chapter 6, Internal Fittings of Houses



Chapter 6, Anglo-Saxon Furniture

Anglo-Saxon Furniture

Food and Drink


Furniture and Beds

Household Economy

Treatment of Slaves

The Toilette

Costume and Ornaments

Chapter 6, Anglo Saxon Hunting and Travelling


Travelling and Inns


The Calendar

Chapter 6, Anglo-Saxon Language

Anglo-Saxon Language

Local and District Courts of Justice


Categories: Book 2

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