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St Paul's C of E Primary School

Heathside Grove

LEARNING to make a difference

Week 3

ANGLO SAXON SOCIETY

 

Women weren't a class in Anglo-Saxon society, but they were treated very differently from men.

Women were not allowed to eat in the great hall during a feast. A rich man's wife might serve food and drink to the guests, but would eat elsewhere.

Anglo-Saxon women stayed at home, cooking, making clothes and looking after the children. Women usually didn't marry men of a higher class than themselves. A slave woman usually married a slave husband.

The king was at the top of society and everyone had to obey his orders.

Each group of Anglo-Saxon settlers had a leader, or a war-chief. A strong leader became a cyning, the Anglo-Saxon word for king.

Kings wore expensive clothes and a crown. In Anglo-Saxon times there was not just one king - there were many kings. They often quarrelled and fell out with each other.

After kings, the most powerful Anglo-Saxons were the thanes.

Thanes lived in large halls and helped the king rule the land.

A thane was in charge of a village. Everyone in the village had to do what he said. If he didn't like someone he could force them to leave his village!

Slaves were at the very bottom of Anglo-Saxon society.

Many slaves were badly treated and forced to work for a thane their whole life. Slaves would wear cheap, dull clothes made from wool.

At the end of their working day, a slave would sleep in the cowshed or barn.

Most Anglo-Saxons were ceorls. These were the common people or peasants.

Ceorls were usually poor and lived in small huts. They worked on the land or had a trade, like weaving, metalworking or carpentry.

Ceorls had to fight for their thane. In return, the thanes gave them protection from invaders.

 

Questions

  1. Circle the BEST word to replace ‘obey’ to show how everyone responded to the king’s orders.

                    

   follow   agree    grant   take on

 

2. Circle two trades taken on by coerls that are listed in the text.

           weaving   falconry    carpentry   pottery     shoeing horses

 

3. List 3 things that showed the slaves were at the bottom of Anglo-Saxon Society

………………………………………………………………………………………………

………………………………………………………………………………………………

………………………………………………………………………………………………

4. Why is the word cyning written in italics in the text? Tick one answer

 

It is written in another language            ………

To show it is another word for king        ………

To draw attention to it                           ………

It is an error                                          ………

 

5. What would a coerl have to do for a thane in exchange for his protection?

……………………………………………………………………..

 

6. Write one word to show that the Anglo-Saxon kings didn’t always get on with each other……………………………………………………………………………………

 

7. Read the section about Anglo- Saxon Women.

List 2 adverbs found in this paragraph.

………………………………………..

………………………………………..                              

 

 

 

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