Food and Drink

Book 2, Chapter 6, The End of the Ninth Century – Anglo Saxon Furniture

The food of the Anglo Saxons appears to have been in general rather simple in character, although we hear now and then of “great feasts,” probably consisting more in the quantity of provisions than in any great variety or refinement in gastronomy. Bread formed the staple, which the Anglo-Saxons appear to have eaten in great quantities, with milk, and butter, and cheese. Barley continued to be the chief food of the common people, wheaten bread “being a great luxury.” A domestic was termed a man’s loaf eater. There is a curious passage in one of Alfric’s homilies, where, speaking of the use of oil in Italy, the Anglo-Saxon writer observes, “they eat oil in that country with their food as we do butter.”

Vegetables formed a considerable portion of the food at this period, beans are also mentioned. A variety of circumstances show that there was a great consumption of fish, as well as of poultry. Of flesh meat, pork and bacon were the most abundant, for the extensive oak forests nourished innumerable droves of swine. Forks were totally unknown to the Anglo-Saxons for the purpose of carrying the food to the mouth, and it does not appear that everyone at table was furnished with a knife. , The knife as represented in the Saxon illuminations has a peculiar form, quite different from that of the earlier knife found in the graves, but resembling rather closely the form of the modern razor.

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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