THE DARK AGES

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Or to use the current description of the period 'Early Middle Ages'

So why the question mark? Well, although the early history of York is bound up with the Anglo Saxons and the Vikings, little remains above ground to be photographed. Many of the artefacts found during the various excavations over the years are now found in our museums and generally not available to an amateur photographer.

As we saw on the Romans page the Romans left Eboracum in 410 AD as part of the withdrawal of all the legions from the British Isles in or about that year. 

Those Anglo Saxons, who had come to Britain as mercenaries with the Roman invaders, now had the power to exercise control over the native population in their own right. Frisians, Jutes as well as Angles and Saxons began to arrive in increasing numbers from the continent. They faced some resistance but despite this they managed to establish a number of kingdoms throughout Britain.

During this time the Anglo Saxon kingdom of Deira formed with its’ capital Eboracum and which the Saxons re-named Eoferwic.

Until about 800AD the Anglo-Saxons reigned supreme however their kingdoms were coming under an increasing threat. From the Vikings!

Danish raiding parties sailed up the Humber and the Ouse looking to plunder the land and the city was seen as a prosperous target. It was ultimately captured in 866AD and its’ name was changed again from Eoforwic to Jorvic.

The Danish influence survives to this day in many of our street names. Those ending in ‘gate’ reflect the Danish word ‘gata’ meaning ‘street’.