410 ~ 800
ANGLO - SAXONS AND VIKINGS.
Items from a local Anglo-Saxon
|400 - The Roman fort on Huntcliff was just
one of a string down the East coast of present day England,
indicating that for some time attacks had been made from across the
About this time Roman forces were withdrawn as Britain and
other parts of the Roman Empire were invaded by peoples from
These new folk were illiterate and no reliable records exist
as to exactly when and how they took over the land, which is called
The Venerable Bede wrote in 731:-
"from the country of the Angles ...which is called Angulus,
came ..all the Northumbrian race [that is those people who dwell north
of the river Humber]"
A district north east of Schleswig is still called Angeln and
archaeology confirms that these new-comers into Britain had the same
culture as southern Scandinavia and Germany.
North East England about 600AD
|To what extent the native Romano-Celts were slaughtered, enslaved or absorbed by intermarriage is not known.
The earliest evidence of Anglo-Saxons in this area is the
cemetery found at Hob Hill
It is one of the most northerly of Anglo-Saxon burial sites in
England and contained mixed inhumations and cremations.
It is presumed the people buried there were outlying settlers of the
Anglo Saxon region called Deira and spent their lives in the Skelton
area, possibly using Skelton beck as a water supply.
The 49 burials, laid out in rows, contained articles, which
date the site to the 5th/6th centuries.
One body was buried in animal hide and another in a coffin.
The dead were buried with their jewellery.
Beads of jet, amber, glass and paste were found along with brooches and
buckles that fastened their clothing.
Men were buried with their weapons; a throwing axe, knives and
a spear ferrule were excavated.
A pair of bronze tweezers were also found.
Lecture at Saltburn 13th March 1911 by the Rev G J Lane, F.G.S. to the Cleveland Naturalists Field Club.:-
The most interesting part of Mr Lane's lecture was his account of the Anglo Saxon Cemetery discovered at Hob Hill.
Anglo-Saxon settlements in the district were still traceable in the names of Brotton, Skelton, Kilton, Upleatham etc and he thought that the cemetery at Hob Hill had been a district cemetery, for the remains of over 100 burial urns had been discovered.
These urns were found in long parallel rows about 2 feet below the surface and were invariably broken and in which the ashes of the dead had been placed after cremation.
Hundreds of jet, amber and glass beads had been found, as well as human teeth, a fine iron Saxon axe, knives, parts of spears and several fibulae or bronze brooches.
One of the latter was the square-headed variety and had been pronounced by the British Museum authorities to be one of the finest that had been found in Britain. At present these interesting antiquities may be seen in the reading room of the New Marske Institute."
Just recently the local Archaeologist, Dr Stephen Sherlock, has discovered another Anglo-Saxon burial ground on the coast near Loftus, about 3 miles as the crow flies from the one at Saltburn.
Rich jewellery has been found in the grave of a female, who experts think may have been someone of Royal status.
The search is now on for the village where these people lived.
500AD - By this time the Anglo Saxon culture had become
dominant and much of England was divided between several
kingdoms, vying with each other for power.
The Skelton area lay between Bernicia to the north and Deira
to the south.
550 - Ida the Flamebearer, king of Bernicia, conquered
the area South of the Tees.
604 - Athelfrith, the new king of Bernicia, married the
daughter of the king of Diera and the area between the Tyne and the
united as Northumbria.
Imagined Anglo Saxon village
Hob Hill, Saltburn.
635 - Oswald, king of Northumbria, defeated Penda of
Mercia, and assumed the title of "bretwalda", overking of England.
Oswald accepted Christianity which was spread to this area
from the north by the Celtic monks of Iona and from the South by Roman
Monasteries were built in the north east, Lindisfarne and
Jarrow, and eventually local churches.
There was an Anglo/Viking church at Skelton, but exactly when
it was built is unknown.
The Churchyard, is not of the usual rectangular outline, but retains
the pear-shape that is considered to be indicative of very early
Christian sites and, in this respect, matches others found elsewhere in
A portion of stone tablet, assumed to be part of a sun dial from this
building, was unearthed in the old churchyard and is now kept at All
Saints Church in the High St.
The small portion of text has never been translated.
See next page.
663 - The Synod of Whitby decided the church would follow
the Roman way of Christianity rather than the Celtic
800 - Up to this time Skelton was part of the kingdom
The history of that kingdom and that of England is a confusion of
"Three Northumbrian kings were murdered, five were deposed and two
retired to become monks".