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‘ENGLAND’ WAS COMPRISED OF SEVEN ANGLO-SAXON KINGDOMS

There were seven major Anglo-Saxon kingdoms, each with their own ruling dynasties, called the ‘Heptarchy’ (meaning ‘seven’). We have already looked at Wessex in the south, but ‘next door’ was the small kingdom of Sussex. Along the south coast lay Kent, probably the oldest of them all. Then came Essex, the kingdom of the East Saxons, and to the north of them was East Anglia. In the Midlands there was a kingdom of the Middle-Angles, which eventually morphed into the mighty kingdom of Mercia, which became the most powerful of them all for a time.

10 things you (probably) didn’t know about the Anglo-Saxons

The Anglo-Saxon period lasted from the early fifth century AD to 1066 – after the Romans and before the Normans. But how much do you know about the Anglo-Saxons? Who were they, where did they settle and what religions did they follow? Here, Martin Wall brings you the facts…

Book Excerpt: Warriors and Kings The 1500-Year Battle For Celtic Britain by Martin Wall

For those of you looking for something Celtic to read this spring, author Martin Wall brings us Warriors and Kings: The 1500-Year Battle for Celtic Britain. For centuries, the Celtic peoples of Britain stood fast against invasion, oppression and war. Theirs is a fascinating and exciting story which birthed some of the most tenacious and heroic leaders in history: from Caractacus and Boudicca, to William Wallace, Owain Glyndwr and the legendary King Arthur.

The Celts: unpicking the mystery

Swathed in myths and legends, the Celts – far from being a singular mass of ‘barbarians’ – were made up of diverse, distinct groups who battled numerous threats, from the Romans to the Normans.

Here, historian Martin Wall unpicks who the Celtic peoples were and introduces some of the key individuals who led the battle for Celtic Britain…

The Anglo-Saxon Age: The Birth of England by Martin Wall – Review

The discovery of the Staffordshire Hoard in 2009 has captured the imagination and stimulated renewed interest in the history and culture of the Anglo-Saxons. The discovery poses some interesting questions. Who owned the treasure and how did they acquire it? Was it made locally or did it originate elsewhere? Why was it buried in an obscure field in the Staffordshire countryside?

Warriors and Kings: The 1500-Year Battle for Celtic Britain by Martin Wall – Review

Wall writes in detail about the different Celtic tribes, whom the Romans thought ‘war mad’, as indeed they doubtless needed to be. He also relates how the landscape of Britain was changed by such activity with castles being built looking out to sea, souterrains or underground tunnels for storage constructed, especially in Cornwall, and large-scale forest clearance undertaken as a result of the need for building hill forts and with early industrialization, such as smelting iron in large quantities.

The Anglo-Saxon Age: The Birth of England by Martin Wall – Review

The Anglo-Saxon age was one of turbulence and constant bloodshed, but there was more to it than this. Central to it was a dream, a dream of England in which a united land existed under one absolute sovereignty with no foreseeable rivals. Many would share this idea, whether Saxon or Dane, and many more would die for it. But it wouldn’t be until the Norman Conquest that such a thing was fully achieved.