Perhaps one of the most important aspects of Anglo-Saxon culture is their architecture. The Anglo-Saxons played an important role in the architecture of the country from the 5th century until the conquest of the Normans in 1066. The first structures to be built by the Anglo-Saxons were fairly simple. They used materials such as timber and thatch. One thing that is certain about the Anglo-Saxons is that they did not like living in the older Roman towns. They had a preference for designing buildings which would cater to their own style. They would typically build a village that was near an important centre for agriculture. Each city would have what was called the main hall.
The main hall was surrounded by the homes of the farmers. It is very likely that this term was extended into places like the United States, where even small cities will have a downtown area with a "city hall." Very little has remained of the structures that were built by the Anglo-Saxons. There are a few churches today which still survive, but many of them have been altered over the years. Many have said that the Anglo-Saxon style borrowed influences from the Coptic style of architecture. In the late period, structures that were built by the Anglo Saxons would use things such as headed openings and baluster shafts.
However, the contributions made by Anglo-Saxon culture are not merely limited to architecture. They also made a number of contributions in the field of art. The artistic aspects of Anglo Saxon culture became especially pronounced during the reign of King Alfred. Once the frequent Viking raids ended, Romanesque art became very popular. Before the rise of King Alfred, the art had primarily been a combination of Anglo-Saxon and Celtic influences. Much of the art that was produced during this time is known today via manuscripts. A number of manuscripts speak of Hiberno-Saxon art, as well as Byzantine and Carolingian art.
Another style that emerged during this time is the Winchester style. It used artistic influences from the northern region of the country and combined them with the ornamental style that had been borrowed from many Mediterranean countries. This artistic style is evidence that the Anglo-Saxons were influenced by a number of different cultures throughout Europe. The most impressive piece of surviving Anglo-Saxon art is called the Bayeux Tapestry. Another important aspect of Anglo-Saxon culture is their language. The language spoken by these people is commonly called Old English.
Original Authors: Stephen Palmer
Edit Update Authors: M.A.Harris
Updated On: 15/07/2008