The Ending of Anglo‐Saxon England

David Griffiths

in The Oxford Handbook of Anglo-Saxon Archaeology

Published in print March 2011 | ISBN: 9780199212149
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Archaeology

The Ending of Anglo‐Saxon England

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  • Archaeology
  • Anglo-Saxon and Medieval Archaeology



The ‘end’ of Anglo-Saxon England was a ragged and discordant affair within which the Norman Conquest certainly represented a major upheaval, but not one which was inflicted on anything like an ethnically-unified populace. A change of equal significance to national conquest and attempts at unification in later Anglo-Saxon England was the development of urban life, and the drawing in of the countryside increasingly to an urban-focused economy. Three of the Anglo-Scandinavian metalwork styles seem to have stimulated widespread indigenous adaptive fashions in England: the Borre style of animal masks and ring-chains, and the later more fluid and open Ringerike style of hooked vegetal fronds, pear-shaped fleur-de-lis, and standing quadrupeds, and the sparer Urnes style. The Conquest effected a transformation of the focus of social and political aspiration on the part of lordly and ecclesiastical elites and the nascent urban classes.

Keywords: Anglo-Saxon England; identity; allegiance; nationality; national conquest; Borre style; Ringerike style; Urnes style

Article.  7322 words. 

Subjects: Archaeology ; Anglo-Saxon and Medieval Archaeology

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