Maps: 500 – 1000

The maps below include:

  • Roman Britain
  • A general map of the people of Britain in the 6th Century
  • The Heparchy – those 7 Anglo Saxon Kingdoms
  • The main English rivers: might sound a bit daft, but rivers as a land mark are constantly referred to throughout the Viking Age.
  • The Shires of England: Again, we are constantly referring to ‘calling our the Fyrd of …’ which sounds very heroic but ‘where was that again?’
  • England in the 10th Century: showing Danelaw all that sort of thing
  • England in the 10th Century: Another version, courtesy of my brother, which has the added benefit of being on a map of England with the real coastline of the time – i.e. before swamp draining by Dutch Engineers…















The Heptarchy – 7 Kingdoms in the 7th Century

The Heptarchy 7th Century













 The main English rivers

Major Rivers of England











 The Shires of England

Shires of England


England in the 10th Century

England in the 10th Century

 England and the Treaty of Wedmore

  Anglo Saxon England






15 thoughts on “Maps: 500 – 1000

  1. Brilliant series. I have spent many a happy and fascinated evening listening to your excellent series. Has sparked a new interest in early English history.
    Question: whats your take on the ‘new’ analysis of the early anglo saxon period, that in fact their was no ‘invasion’ by the saxons and that the changes in dress, culture and military equipment was by osmosis rather than take-over as proposed by Francis Pryor in his excellent 3 part series ‘England AD’ which blew my socks off.
    Best H-P Verhoeven

  2. Thanks Hans-Peter. I confess that I’d love to go back and re-do that particualr period – I took a rather idiosyncratic approach in focussing on the West saxons, who were after all the smaller of the tribes initially. Still, can’t do that now…
    But I did read some of Francis Pyor’s work and fascinating it is too. It’s a poser, because of course there is plenty of evidence the toger way isn’t there? For example, why are there so few survivals of British place names, out of all proportion to what happens with teh Norman conquest.
    For what it’s worth, I ended up fence sitting. I found Pryor convincing on the archaeological evidence, and find it difficult to visualise the size of a migration that completely pushed out an indigeonous population; it’s rather tantalising that many of the earliest kings of Wessex had Celtic names. So I figured that what we have is substantial migration, big enough to mean that a large percentage of the population was Anglo Saxon and therefore to have a cultural takeover, but also including a substantial assimilation of the british population. But maybe that’s me trying to square a circle.

  3. I heard in Tony Robinson’s Time Team that genetic analysis of modern day English show a large % of Celtic genes/DNA (whichever one it is). This would support the idea of a slow migration and inter marriage, rather than a pushing out of the population. Perhaps it was more like the Norman invasion, with the kings and lords etc being Anglo Saxon, but not so much the lower classes.
    I love your podcast series. I use it when commuting and while cooking and cleaning. Makes those activities worthwhile. I am Australian. My father’s family immigrated here in 1905. They came from a long line of Kentish peasants.

  4. Hi Eirene – yes, it’s a matter of continual and sometimes hot debate – Francis Pryor shares your view for example. However, someone also sent me a link to a fascinating genetic project which showed similarities between genetic types, and therefore found similar grouping; and the groups are spookily similar to the invasion story.
    I guess we’ll never know for sure, which is why that period is so fun! But I find the argument for a wholesale replacement slightly more convincing.

  5. The Anglo Saxon Chronicle. I love listening to your podcasts, and am really enjoying the Anglo Saxon period as now the dots are beginning to join up! What is the best copy / edition of the Anglo Saxon Chronicle to buy?

    1. Jacqui, I’m really sorry I don’t know. I used a copy I had at university; it’s edited by Anne Savage and is still available, and has pretty pictures and commentary. I can heartily recommend it, but don’t know if it’s the best…

  6. Hi David, I’m a late joiner to your podcast and find it fascinating! Funny I’m an American Catholic of Irish/French ancestry so I should hate all English history, but it’s too fun to stop listening. Thank you for making it so!
    Jon Pierre

    1. Hi Jon – and you can be proud! You are clearly a paragon of objectivity.
      Thanks for the compliment and long may it continue

  7. I hail from near Buckingham and my Shire seems to have moved around. At one point it was where Essex, Wessex and Mercia met. Another time it was in the Danelaw and another was in Mercia.
    Excellent maps. Thank you

  8. I found this podcast in December when I was looking around for something more to fill my mind instead of job-related exasperation. It works for that purpose and I’m learning cool things as well (I enjoy shocking my mother with Viking facts as our family is very, very Scandinavian). Also, I have started using “…not a happy bunny” and “the rough end of a pineapple” in conversations, even though it doesn’t sound as cool with a Minnesotan accent. These podcasts are perfect for while I’m doing illustrations in the evenings.

    Thank you so much for all the happiness and knowledge and Monty Python references!

    1. I am very pleased! So pleased you are a bunny most happy, and I am sure it sounds far cooler in Minnesotan! Thanks you

  9. Hi David, I first heard you on Extra History and finally got round to starting the podcast. I’m listening at an alarming rate but plenty to get through! Love the maps too, the scale of Northumbria baffles me, I presume it was far more of a general area of influence than what we’d today think of as a nation?

    1. Hi Tom, and very glad you are enjoying it! Yes, broadly speaking you might describe it as a network of lordships and lordly relationships. But as time goes by of course, England as a whole becomes remarkably centralised with genuine public offices such as earldormen.

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