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Prepare for battle as we take a trip back in time 1,600 years ago when these fierce warriors ruled Great Britain!


The Anglo-Saxons were a group of farmer-warriors who lived in Britain thousands of years ago.

Made up of three tribes who came over from Europe, they were called the Angle, Saxon and Jute tribes. The two largest were the Angle and Saxon tribes, which is how we've come to know them as the Anglo-Saxons.

They fought many battles during their rule of Britain. 

We took a look at the different events and ordered them on a timeline.

We've been looking at how the Anglo-Saxons influenced British place names. 


As the Anglo-Saxons settled in, they pushed further and further inland. Their settlement led to the creation of Anglo-Saxon place names. To begin with, many Anglo-Saxon settlements took on the name of the most important inhabitant of a settlement. ‘Ingas’ was a common ending for Anglo-Saxon place names. For example, the followers of Haesta settled in ‘Haestingas’ - now known as Hastings. 

Another Anglo-Saxon development was the addition of ‘ham’ at the end of a place name – meaning homestead or settlement. This tended to replace a personal name. Billingham, for example, meant the settlement of the people of Billa.


The names of many British towns derive from the Saxons: 

  • Hereford means ‘army ford’ to indicate a river crossing large enough to manage an army.
  • Stafford means ‘ford by a landing place’.
  • Oxford means ‘ford for oxen’.
  • Bedford means ‘Beda’s ford’.
  • Hertford means ‘stag ford’.
  • Buckingham means ‘ground by a river that belongs to Bucca’s people’.
  • Cambridge developed from ‘Grantacaestir’ and ‘Granebrycg’, both of which meant ‘bridge over the River Granta’