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Anglo Saxon Chronicles and Britain

(400AD - 1066AD )


409. AD 409 Emperor Honorius withdrew troops from Britain to defend the Rhine region from invading Barbarians. Two years later a directive was sent from the Emperor to all major towns in Britain telling the local govenors that they were responsible for their own defense. The defense of Sussex in late Roman times was based on the shore fort at Pevensey, called Andredecaester in the Saxon chronicles. The Romans had brought with them many Germanic settlers when they invaded, and most of these settlers remained in Britain.
449. AD 449 This year Marcian and Valentinian assumed the empire, and reigned seven winters. In their days Hengest and Horsa, invited by Wurtgern, King of the Britons to his assistance, landed in Britain in a place that is called Ipwinesfleet; first of all to support the Britons, but they afterwards fought against them. The King directed them to fight against the Picts; and they did so; and obtained the victory wheresoever they came. They then sent to the Angles, and desired them to send more assistance. They described the worthlessness of the Britons, and the richness of the land. They then sent them greater support. Then came the men from three powers of Germany; the Old Saxons, the Angles, and the Jutes. From the Jutes are descended the men of Kent, the Wightwarians (that is, the tribe that now dwelleth in the Isle of Wight), and that kindred in Wessex that men yet call the kindred of the Jutes. From the Old Saxons came the people of Essex and Sussex and Wessex. From Anglia, which has ever since remained waste between the Jutes and the Saxons, came the East Angles, the Middle Angles, the Mercians, and all of those north of the Humber. Their leaders were two brothers, Hengest and Horsa; who were the sons of Wihtgils; Wihtgils was the son of Witta, Witta of Wecta, Wecta of Woden. From this Woden arose all our royal kindred, and that of the Northumbrians also.
Original: Her Mauricius & Ualentines onfengon rice & ricsodon .vii. winter. & On hiera dagum Hengest & Horsa from Wyrtgeorne geleaade Bretta kyninge gesohton Bretene on am stae e is genemned Ypwinesfleot, rest Brettum to fultume, ac hie eft on hie fuhton. hand8: Se cing het hi feohtan agien Pihtas, & hi swa dydan & sige hfdan swa hwar swa hi comon. Hi a sende to Angle & heton heom sendan mare fultum & heom seggan Brytwalana nahtnesse & s landes cysta. Hy a sendan heom mare fultum. a comon a menn of rim mgum Germanie, of Ealdseaxum, of Anglum, of Iotum. Of Iotum comon Cantware & Wihtware, t ys seo mi e nu earda on Wiht, & t cynn on Westsexum e man gyt ht Iutna cyn. Of Ealdseaxon comon Eastsexa & Susexa & WestSexan. Of Angle comon, se a sian stod westi betwyx Iutum & Seaxum, Eastengla, Midelangla, Mearca & ealle Norhymbra.
455. AD 455 Hengest and Horsa fought Vertigern the King at Aegelesthrep ( Aylesford ) and defeated him, his brother Horsa was killed, and Hengest was crowned King of Kent.
Original :- Her Hengest & Horsa fuhton wi Wyrtgeorne am cyninge, in re stowe e is gecueden Agelesrep, & his brour Horsan man ofslog; & fter am Hengest feng to rice & sc his sunu.
457. AD 457 Hengest and his son Aesc defeat the britons at Crecganford ( Crayford ) and the British abandon Kent.
Original :- Her Hengest & sc fuhton wi Brettas in re stowe e is gecueden Crecganford & r ofslogon .iiiim. wera, & a Brettas a forleton Centlond & mid micle ege flugon to Lundenbyrg.
465. AD 465 Hengest and Aesc fought the britons near Wippedesfleot and killed twelve eldermen. One of their thanes Wipped was killed here.
Original :- Her Hengest & sc gefuhton uui Walas neah Wippedesfleote & r .xii. wilisce aldormenn ofslogon, & hiera egn an r wear ofslgen, am ws noma Wipped.
473. AD 473 Hengest and Aesc fought the britons and seized countless spoils of war. The welsh fled the english as one flees a fire.
Original :- Her Hengest & sc gefuhton wi Walas & genamon unarimedlico herereaf, & a Walas flugon a Englan swa er fyr.
477. Aelle came to Britain and his three sons Cymen Wlencing and Cyssa, with three ships, landing at a place which is named Cymensora. There they killed many Welsh, and drove some in flight into AndredsWeald.
Original :- Her cuom lle on Bretenlond & his .iii. suna, Cymen & Wlencing & Cissa, mid .iii. scipum on a stowe e is nemned Cymenesora, & r ofslogon monige Wealas & sume on fleame bedrifon on one wudu e is genemned Andredesleage.
485. Aelle fought the Welsh near the landing place at Mearcredesburnan.
Original :- Her lle gefeaht wi Walas neah Mearcrdesburnan ste.
491. Aelle and Cyssa besieged Anderida , near Pevensey, and killed all who were inside, so there was not one Briton left.
Original :- Her lle, Cissa ymbston Andredescester, ofslogon alle a e rinne eardedon; ne wear r foron an Bret to lafe.
495. There came two eaorlmen to Britain, Cerdic and Cynric his son, with five ships, to a place called Cerdicesora, on the same day they fought the Welsh.
Original :- Her cuomon twegen aldormen on Bretene, Cerdic , Cynric his sunu, mid .v. scipum in one stede e is gecueden Cerdicesora, y ilcan dge gefuhtun wi Walum.
501. Port came to Britain with his two sons, Bieda and Maegia, and two ships, to the place called Portsmouth, and killed a young British man, a noble.
Original :- Her cuom Port on Bretene, his .ii. suna Bieda, Mgla mid .ii. scipum on re stowe e is gecueden Portesmua, ofslogon anne giongne brettiscmonnan, swie elne monnan.
508. This year Cerdic and Cynric killed a British King named Natanleod, and five thousand men with him. After that the land was known as Natanleag up to Cedicesford.
Original :- Her Cerdic & Cynric ofslogon nne brettisccyning, am was nama Natanleod, .v. usendu wera mid him. fter was t lond nemned Natanleaga o Cerdicesford.
514. The West-Saxons came to Briton with 3 ships to a place called Cerdicesora and in the same year they fought the Britons and put them to flight.
Original :- Her cuomon Westseaxe in Bretene mid .iii. scipum in a stowe e is gecueden Cerdicesora, & Stuf & Wihtgar, & fuhton wi Brettas & hie gefliemdon
519. Cerdic and Cynric received the West-Saxon kingdom, and the same year they fought with the Britons, in a place now called Cerdicesford. The royal line of Wessex ruled from that day.
Original :- Her Certic & Kynric onfengon Westseaxna rice, & i ilcan geare hi gefuhton wi Bryttas er man nu nemna Certicesford; & sian rixadon Westseaxna cynebarn of am dge.

What we have above is a description of the invasion of Britain by the Jutes and Saxons Hengist and Horsa followed by the Saxons. The invasion starts in Kent then as the land is taken the invaders move west through Sussex . There seems to be a significant gap in the records relating to the area of current day Hastings - please see the following page. 475AD New detailed page on Haesta the Saxon (Hastings)

Also we have produced a more believable conjecture of Aelle and his coming to power . 477AD New detailed page on Aelle/Aella the Saxon

In 597 Pope Gregory sent a Christian mission to Britain which was led by Augustine landed in Kent. He was very successful and converted King Aethelbert together with the kings of Essex and East Anglia.

In 793 the first Viking raids took place in Northern England, and during the next years saw major raids along most of the Southern and Eastern coasts of England. These raids culminated in the Great Army of 865 which wintered on the Isle of Thanet before commencing on a twelve year invasion.

The first major British Monarchs , the house of Wessex also began its rise to fame during the 800's commencing with Egbert who defeated the Mercians in 825. It is noteworthy that his son, Aethelwulf, was the first King of Wessex to inherit the throne from his father since the seventh century. His other four sons succeeded him in turn Aethelbald, Aethelbert, Aethelred I and finally the youngest and most famous, Alfred the Great. Alfred fought the Vikings 'Great Army' and eventually brought them to a standstill at Edington which produced the Treaty of Wedmore in 878. This led to an uneasy peace and the establishment of the Danelaw, which gave the Danes about half of the country to the East. Alfred left a number of defensive sites in our area including ones at Kenardington Newenden Penhurst and Pevensey .
The house of Wessex continued to expand their frontiers, and in 937 Athelstan achieved a decisive victory at Brunanburgh, when a coalition of Irish, Norse, Scots and Northumbrians were defeated.

In 954 King Eadred defeated Eric Bloodaxe who was driven out of York and killed at Stainmoor. Edgar who came to the throne in 959 spent the next 17 years of his reign trying to weld the states of Northumbria, Mercia, East Anglia and Wessex into a single body. This is the time that the English state was formed.

During the reign of Aethelred the Unready (978-1016) the Viking attacks on England started again. In the 980s the Vikings raided the Welsh coast and south-west England. At the same time attacks on London and the south-east began from the North Sea and Scandinavia. In the 990s the great armies of Norway and Sweden under the leadership of Olaf (later King of Norway) and Svein ( King of Denmark) attacked.

The Viking onslaught came mainly from King Svein of Denmark from 1003 to 1006 , with Thorkell the Tall campaigning in the south and east between 1009 and 1013. Svein returned in 1013 and at Gainsborough he became King of Northumbria, towards the end of the year the last Wessex resistance failed and Swein was made King of England and Aethelred fled to Normandy.

In 1014 Svein died, and Canute took his father throne both in England and in Denmark, however Edmund the son of Aethelred came back and took back the South. In 1016 Edmund died, and the land reverted to Canute. On Canute's death in 1035, the kingdom was inherited by his son Hardicanute, but he was unable to take control as he was fighting Magnus of Norway in Denmark, so Canute's half brother Harald took over. Harald died in 1040 and at last Hardicanute inherited the throne. Finally Hardicanute died in 1042, and the house of Wessex was restored to power in the hands of Edward the Confessor .

During this time the family of Earl Godwin came to power from obscure origins in Sussex. The family rose in two generations to the pinnacle of power in England. A turning point in the familys fortunes was the marriage in 1043 of Godwins daughter Edith to King Edward the Confessor .

The next step of this story is told on our 1066 pages.
Language

Anglo Saxon Words which have influenced village names in the area.

From our research we believe town would be a hill farm
Modern Explanation
ash From the word aesc meaning ash tree
broad From the word bred meaning wide
brook From the word broka meaning a stream or marsh
borough From the word burh meaning fortress, or it can also be derived from beorg meaning a hill.
burgh From the word burh meaning fortress, or it can also be derived from beorg meaning a hill.
bury From the word burh meaning fortress
burn From the word burna a stream
bourn(e) From the word burna a stream
church From the word ciric meaning burial ground. Ciric mutated to circe then finally church
combe From the word comb meaning a valley or low place.
den A village suffix from the original denbera, meaning a large clearing in the forest, or a swine pasture.
dene From the original denbera, meaning a large clearing in the forest, or a swine pasture.
ew A village prefix meaning yew(tree)
ey A village suffix from Ie meaning Island
eye A village suffix from Ie meaning Island
field A village suffix from the original feld, meaning a large clearing in the forest.
hart meaning deer.
ham A village suffix meaning enclosure.
From our research we now believe ham was a farm on the edge of a river or sea and were fourth phase Saxon settlements.
heath From the original ethe, meaning a patch of heath land in the forest.
hurst A village suffix meaning wooded hill from the Anglo Saxon hyrst
ing Originally thought to mean followers or family of
Our research implies that place names ending in ing were early Saxon defensive forts
With later forts ending in ington(on hills) or ingham(in valleys)
ings Our research implies that place names ending in ings were second phase Saxon defensive forts
ington Our research implies that place names ending in ington were third phase Saxon fortified settlements found in the hills or on the downs.
ingham Our research implies that place names ending in ingham were third phase Saxon fortified settlements located near Sea Level or in river valleys.
ly A village suffix from the original leagh, meaning a clearing in the forest.
ley A village suffix from the original leagh, meaning a clearing in the forest.
leigh A village suffix from the original leagh, meaning a clearing in the forest.
mare A village prefix from the original mere, meaning a pool or pond.
marsh A village suffix from the original mersc, meaning a marsh or bog.
paddock A village prefix a corruption of the word parruc meaning park or enclosure.
sale A village prefix, a corruption of the word sealh meaning willow(tree).
shire A governable area
shore taken from ora a shore,haven or port usually only used for notable landings
stede A place, a spot or locality
From our research we believe this to mean a landing place on the edge of the sea
tice A village prefix, the word for kids(goats)
ton A village suffix meaning homestead
From our research we believe ton would be a hill farm
tun A village suffix meaning homestead
From our research we believe tun would be a hill farm
town A village suffix meaning homestead
walda the name for woody ground
weald From the Roman the forest of Anderida , which was turned into Andred Wold, then Andreadsweald, finally Weald. (This was a forest covering a large part of Southern Kent and East Sussex.)
welsh Saxon word used to describe foreigners
ye A village suffix from Ie meaning Island
References
Tony Jebson’s online Anglo Saxon Chronicles
A very fine record of the 6 manuscripts making up the Chronicles.
A Dictionary of the Anglo Saxon Language
Google Books copy of the original by Reverend J Bosworth 1838.

Villages Referenced

Alciston  -   (Fifty thousand tiles on the Barn)
Aldington  -   (The Aldington Gang)
Alfriston  -   (Smuggling and Ghosts)
Appledore  -   (Danes invade England)
Arlington  -   (Peaceful Saxon Village)
Ashburnham  -   (Last iron furnace in Sussex)
Ashurst  -   (Miraculous Carving)
Barcombe  -   (Village in three places)
Battle  -   (William the Conqueror prevails)
Beckley  -   (Alfred the Great and Guns !)
Beddingham  -   (At the base of Mount Caburn)
Benenden  -   (One of Englands Top Girls Schools)
Berwick  -   (Sharpen your arrows on the Church)
Bidborough  -  
Biddenden  -   (The Maids of Biddenden)
Bilsington  -   (The Priory and Obelisk)
Bishopstone  -   (Largest Tide-Mill in Sussex)
Blackham  -   (Roughs and Prize Fighters)
Bodiam  -   (The finest ruined castle in the Country)
Bonnington  -   (Saint Rumwold the child saint)
Boreham Street  -   (Picturesque village on top of the Ridge)
Borough Green  -  
Boughton Monchelsea  -   (Miraculous vision)
Brasted  -   (Doctor to King George III)
Brede  -   (Edward I inspects the Channel Fleet)
Brenchley  -   (A beautiful Kent village)
Brenzett  -   (St Eanswyth a Saxon princess)
Brightling  -   (famous for Mad Jack Fuller)
Brookland  -   (13th century wooden spire)
Burmarsh  -   (The fortress in the Marsh?)
Buxted  -   (The first Iron Cannon in England)
Cade Street  -   (Jack Cade and the Kentish rebellion)
Catsfield  -   (Iron, Railways and Clocks)
Chailey  -   (The Heritage and Bricks)
Chalvington  -   (The miniature church)
Chelwood Gate  -   The Forest entrance and President Kennedy
Chiddingly  -   (Walking on Cheese ??)
Chiddingstone  -   (A perfect Tudor village)
Clayton  -   (Jack and Jill Windmills)
Cranbrook  -   (Christmas Cards and Union Mill)
Crockham Hill  -  
Crowhurst  -   (Village devastated by the Normans)
Dallington  -   (Custers Last Stand!)
Danehill  -   (Stopping point between London and Lewes)
Denton  -   (Earl Godwins Manor)
Dichling  -  
Dungeness  -   (Fishermen and Lighthouses)
Dymchurch  -   (The Romans and the sea wall)
East Blatchington  -   (Mutiny and the Edge of Space)
East Dean  -   (Fishing and Wrecking)
East Hoathly  -   (Another Sussex Cannibal?)
East Peckham  -   (Centre of the Hop Industry)
Edenbridge  -   (Roman Crossing to Victorian Bridge)
Eridge Green  -   (The home of the Neville Family)
Etchingham  -   (The oldest Brass Weather Vane in the country)
Ewhurst Green  -   (Great Fire of London contributions)
Exceat  -   (Alfred the Great's Naval Base?)
Fairlight  -   (Firehills and Views)
Firle  -   (Home of the Greengage)
Fletching  -   (Simon de Montfort and Jack Cade)
Folkington  -   (Teasles and Badgers)
Fordcombe  -   (Paper Mill and the Field Marshal)
Framfield  -   (380 years without a church tower)
Frant  -   (King Johns hunting lodge)
Friston  -   (Home of the Railway Children)
Frittenden  -   (The Search for the Treacle Mines)
Glynde  -   (Home of English Opera)
Goudhurst  -   (Smugglers, Iron and Forests)
Groombridge  -   (Home of the Groombridge Gang)
Guestling  -   (Changing guards at Buckingham Palace)
Hadlow  -   (Mays Folly - 150ft tower)
Hadlow Down  -   (Wealden cannons and Charcoal)
Hailsham  -   (Ropes and Napoleon)
Hamsey  -   (Abandoned Saxon Island)
Hamstreet and Orlestone  -   (The Start of the Ordnance Survey)
Hartfield  -   (A.A.Milne and Winnie-the-Pooh)
hastings Bulverhythe  -   (Landing place of the citizens)
Hastings Old Town  -   (The ancient Cinque Port)
Hastings Ore  -   (Iron and the Turnpike)
Hawkhurst  -   (A Notorious Gang of Smugglers)
Headcorn  -   (King Johns Oak)
Hellingly  -   (Only remaining Ciric in Sussex)
Herstmonceux  -   (Castle and Observatory)
Hever  -   (Anne Boleyn and the Castle)
High Hurstwood  -  
Hooe  -   (The Haunt of Smugglers)
Horam  -   (Which Station do we get off at ?)
Horsmonden  -   (The largest Wealden Iron Works)
Hurst Green  -   (The Youngest Highwayman on record)
Icklesham  -   (Paul McCartney's Recording Studio)
Ide Hill  -  
Iden  -   (Sheriff of Kent and Jack Cade)
Ightham  -  
Isfield  -   (Simon de Montfort and the Lavender Line)
Ivychurch  -   (The burial ground on the Island)
Jevington  -   (Smugglers and Churchill Tanks)
Kenardington  -   (Danes destroy Saxon Fort)
Lamberhurst  -   (Scotney Castle and Gardens)
Langton Green  -   (Modern village and Old Quarry)
Laughton  -   (Knight captures King of France)
Leigh  -  
Linton  -   (Cavalier loses House)
Litlington  -   (Secret marriage of George IV)
Lullington  -   (destroyed by Cromwell ??)
Lydd  -   (The Cathedral of the Marsh)
Marden  -   (Broadcloth and Agriculture)
Maresfield  -   (Soldiers and Iron)
Mark Cross  -   (Policeman arrests eccentric landowner)
Matfield  -   (Largest Village Green in Kent)
Mayfield  -   (Saint Dunstan and the Devil)
Mersham  -   (Founder of Ashford Grammar School)
Mountfield  -   (17th Century Coal !!)
Netherfield  -   (Village at the top of the Hill)
Newchurch  -   (The Church Tower with a kink)
Newenden  -   (Alfred the Great's Fort)
Newick  -   (Killer Cricket and Dirk Bogarde)
New Romney  -   (Cinque Port and Storm)
Ninfield  -   (Last of the Iron Stocks)
Northiam  -   (Prime Ministers D Day inspection)
Nutley  -   (Edward III and the Post Mill)
Offham  -   ( Chalk Pit and the Battle of Lewes )
Old Romney  -   (Sheep and Wool Smuggling)
Old Winchelsea  -   (Abandoned after the Great Storm)
Paddock Wood  -   (Railway brings prosperity)
Peasmarsh  -   (Black Death moves village)
Pembury  -   (The ghost of Hawkwell)
Penhurst  -   (Beautiful yet Remote)
Pett  -   (End of the Royal Military Canal)
Pevensey  -   (Ancient Roman Fortification)
Piltdown  -   (The Piltdown Man hoax)
Platt  -  
Playden  -   (Saltcote and fish)
Reading Street & Ebony  -   (Priory and Shipbuilding)
Ringmer  -   (Poor Roads and riots)
Rotherfield  -   (Source of the rivers Rother and Uck)
Ruckinge  -   (Smuggling and Traction Engines)
Rusthall  -   (The Toad Rock)
Rye  -   (On the Island)
Rye Harbour  -   (Nature Reserve and unspoilt beaches)
Salehurst  -   (Richard the Lion Heart's Gift)
Sandhurst  -   (Escape from the Great Plague)
Seaford  -   (The cormorants or shags)
Seal  -  
Sedlescombe  -   (Best gunpowder in Europe)
Sellindge  -   (Oliver Cromwells Horse)
Selmeston  -   (Tomb to store the Contraband)
Sevenoaks Weald  -   (Lower the tower by twenty feet)
Sevington  -   (Saxons and Dual Carriageway)
Sheffield Park  -   (Capability Brown and the Bluebell Line)
Shipbourne  -  
Sissinghurst  -   (The magnificent garden of Vita Sackville-West)
Smallhythe  -   (The Ellen Terry Museum)
Smeeth  -   (The Scott Family)
Snave  -   (the Remote church)
Speldhurst  -   (Nobleman captured at Agincourt)
Spithurst  -  
Staplecross  -   (Mothers grudge hangs son)
Staplehurst  -   (Charles Dickens train crash)
St Mary in the Marsh  -   (Ancient Celts)
Stonegate  -   (Ancient Roman Cross Road)
Sundridge  -   (Last Peer of England to be hanged)
Sutton Valence  -   (seized from Simon de Montfort)
Tarring Neville  -   (The Chest from the Spanish Armarda)
Tenterden  -   (Centre of the Broadcloth industry)
Ticehurst  -   (Anne Boleyn and Pashley Manor)
Tudeley & Capel  -   (Iron Industry and Hop Pickers)
Udimore  -   (Angels move the Church)
Wadhurst  -   (Last bare fisted Prize-Fight in England)
Waldron  -   (Fullers Earth)
Warbleton  -   (The Iron Man)
Warehorne  -   (A good place to explore the Marshes)
Wartling  -   (World War II defence centre)
West Dean  -   (Alfred the Great's Palace)
Westfield  -   (Bonfire Boys under suspicion)
Westham  -   (Enclosure for the Castle)
West Malling  -  
Whatlington  -   (King Harold's Manor)
Wilmington  -   (The Long Man)
Winchelsea  -   (Inland Cinque Port !!)
Winchelsea Beach  -   (Holidaymakers and Henry VIIIs Fort)
Yalding  -   (longest medieval bridge in Kent)

 
       
 
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