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The Anglo-Saxon Chronicles: Facts and Information

Here are some facts about the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles.

  • The Anglo-Saxon Chronicles are a collection of historical records recounting the history of the Anglo-Saxons. They were mostly written in the 9th century, during the reign of King Alfred the Great.
  • They cover different subjects, including farming and agriculture, the economy, laws of the time, and  wars and battles. The chronicles also include several long poems.
  • One poem, the Battle of Brunanburh, features in four of the surviving chronicles. It tells the story of a 10th century battle between Saxons, Scots and Vikings.
  • The Anglo-Saxon Chronicles are the most important and complete account of Britain between the 1st and 12th centuries. They also provide information on the development of the English language.
  • The chronicles are written in Old English, the oldest form of the English language. It is derived from dialects spoken by tribes in northern Europe and was brought to Britain by 5th century settlers.

Anglo-Saxon Chronicle

  • One entry in the Chronicles recounts one of the most famous events in British history, the Battle of Hastings in 1066. King Harold died at the battle, which marked the end of Anglo-Saxon rule.
  • Today, nine of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle manuscripts survive, yet none of them are the original version. Most are in the British Library in London, although one is in Oxford’s Bodleian Library, and one in Corpus Christi College, Cambridge.
  • The Winchester Chronicle is the oldest of the Anglo-Saxon chronicles. It includes information about Alfred the Great, as well as the laws of Alfred, a guide to the rules and regulations of the period.
  • Alfred encouraged the use of English during his reign, and realized the importance of culture and education. The Winchester Chronicle may have been a result of his efforts to introduce these changes.
  • The chronicles were all written in different places and at different times, and can sometimes be seen as inaccurate. In some places, names and dates are not recorded accurately, and some of the passages are considered to be more legend than fact.

What next? Learn more about the Anglo-Saxons by visiting our Anglo-Saxons resources page.

Stone Age: Facts and Information

Here are some facts about the Stone Age. The Stone Age began about 3.7 million years ago, and lasted until about 2000 BC. This long period was one in which stone was widely used to make tools or utensils. Archaeologists divide the Stone Age into three periods: Paleolithic, Mesolithic and then Neolithic. About 99 percent… Continue Reading

Star Carr: Facts About the Mesolithic Settlement

Here are some facts about Star Carr. Star Carr is an important Mesolithic archaeological site in the county of Yorkshire, England. It is located in the Vale of Pickering, about 8km south of the seaside resort of Scarborough. The site was discovered in 1947 by John Moore. Moore was an amateur archaeologist who noticed some… Continue Reading

The Shang Dynasty: Facts and Information

Here are some facts about the Shang Dynasty. The Shang dynasty, also known as the Yin dynasty, ruled in China from about 1600 BC to 1100 BC. It was the first dynasty to be documented centuries later, and for which there is archaeological evidence. Chinese tradition says that the Shang Dynasty was founded by a… Continue Reading

SS Great Britain: Facts and Information

Here are some facts about the SS Great Britain. The SS Great Britain was a 19th century passenger ship, and the first steamship to sail across the Atlantic Ocean. She is moored as a museum ship in Bristol, in southwest England. She was the first ship to combine screw propulsion with an iron hull. The… Continue Reading

The New Forest: Facts and Information

Here are some facts about the New Forest. The New Forest is an area of undeveloped woodland and pasture in southern England. It covers an area of about 560 square km in the counties of Hampshire and Wiltshire. The area became one of England’s 10 National Parks in 2005. It attracts about 15 million visitors… Continue Reading

Cambridge: Facts and Information

Here are some facts about Cambridge. Cambridge is the county town of Cambridgeshire, located in the eastern part of England. The city is about 80 km northeast of London and has a population of about 125,000. The city is home to the University of Cambridge, one of the world’s top universities. The university consists of… Continue Reading

What was the Warsaw Pact? Facts and Information

Here are some facts about the Warsaw Pact. The Warsaw Pact was the Soviet equivalent of NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization). It was created in 1955 and was intended to be a defence treaty for Communist countries. NATO had been formed in 1949. Its members included the United States, and it was jokingly suggested its… Continue Reading