The Anglo Saxons were groups of settlers from the tribes known as the Angles, Saxons, and Jutes, who arrived in Britain from Europe to settle following the decline of the Roman empire around 400AD. They were warriors and farmers and quickly established themselves in regional kingdoms.
The Anglo Saxons lived in aptly named round houses, built from clay and wood, and which were arranged in villages. This time period, due in part to the types of building materials used, did not leave many traces for modern day archaeology, and indeed modern day school groups to visit! The Anglo Saxons lived in a period we now know as the Dark Ages, because of the relative scarcity of information. Thankfully there were records left by Saxon Chroniclers, which have allowed museums and historic venues to construct recreations of Anglo Saxon Villages, round houses and every day objects such as musical instruments and hunting and farming tools.
A school trip to an Anglo Saxon Village recreation allows your pupils to explore the way our ancestors lived. An example of one such recreation is at West Stow, where the recreation of an early Anglo-Saxon village (c.420-650AD) has been carefully reconstructed where it was excavated. Experimental archaeology has provided new ideas on what life was once like at West Stow; you can explore these houses, smell the wood smoke, and absorb yourself in the atmosphere, imagine living in early Anglo-Saxon times.
Images below provided through Creative Commons by: dun deagh | duncan | afshin darian
Why are Anglo-Saxon Village great for School Trips and Educational Visits?
Museums and Anglo Saxon village recreations can show school children fascinating displays of objects found during the excavations of actual Anglo Saxon sites such as Sutton Hoo in Suffolk and Offa's Dyke on the Welsh border. Schools can learn about life in a typical village through engaging stories about the people who lived here, and through recreations of costumes the Anglo Saxons would have worn.
Most Anglo Saxon school trips will benefit from the expertise of a guide, who can help teachers answer questions from pupils, both about the local site being visited, and also about the wider Anglo Saxon society. Children can learn about everything from farming to leisure, and even their concept of burial and the afterlife!
If you would like us to find a great school trip venue or outreach programme for your Anglo Saxon topic, fill in the short form below and we will help you find the perfect trip for your class.
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"The children had a great day. Many aspects of Anglo-Saxon life were covered. A good range of activities. The village had a real-life atmosphere, and the children really could feel like Anglo-Saxons. All arrangements were clear, and they were happy to answer any queries ahead of time such as bus parking. All staff were happy to answer the children's questions. Good value for money."
Helen Swift, Wittering Primary School
"We have been covering life in Anglo Saxon times so what better place to visit than this Anglo Saxon village recreation at West Stow. This living museum has everything you need to help discuss who they were, where they came from and how they lived. We visited the village reconstruction in the morning, and in the afternoon, the museum, which had some great hands-on exhibits. All the children loved it."
Margaret Jenkins, Moorfield Junior School
Need more inspiration?
We are bursting with ideas on places that deliver first class teaching both outside the classroom and as in-school workshops. Below are a few similar suggestions to , or head to our tailor-made trip form and let us know how we can help you!