Shipping in the Saxons

Before the Romans left they had been hiring Germanic mercenaries (which are a type of soldier) from Germanic tribes and employing them in territories like Britain. So once the Romans left Britain, Romano-British lords continued to hire these mercenaries. The presence of these tribes in Britain gradually became known as the Angles, Saxons and Jutes and the previous ideas of tribes were replaced with kingdoms.

The Sheffield area is thought to have become part of the Kingdom of Elmet until 617AD when it was taken over by King Edwin who was ruler of the Kingdoms of Deira and Bernicia (which later became known as Northumbria) from about 616 AD until his death.

By the eighth century we have four major kingdoms, Wessex (south), East Anglia (east), Mercia (midlands) and Northumbria (north). There was also three more smaller kingdoms; Kent, Essex and Sussex (take a look at these different kingdoms and their location on the map to your left). Sheffield was once again a border zone between northern and midland England, just as it had been before the Romans. For much of this period it lay within what was known as the kingdom of Northumbria, but occasionally it was also ruled by Mercia.

While there haven’t been many Anglo Saxon finds in Grimesthorpe or Page Hall, the helmet below, which is known as the Benty Grange Helmet, was found a 50 minute drive away in Monyash. The helmet is from the seventh century and is now on display in Weston Park Museum. Why not go and visit it?