The Archaeology of Anglo-Saxon England


The Oxford Experience is a residential summer programme providing one-week courses in a variety of subjects aimed at non-specialists. It offers a choice of seminars each week over a period of six weeks.

This course provides a detailed introduction to Anglo-Saxon England, covering the seven centuries from the end of the Roman Britain to the Norman Conquest.

Although the approach is mainly archaeological, we will also consider the art of the time as shown in the metalwork, manuscript illumination and sculpture, Anglo-Saxon literature and other documentary evidence.

Considerable changes took place in England during this time: the transition from paganism to Christianity; the Viking raids; the attempts at conquest by the Viking ‘Great Army’; King Alfred’s decisive victory over the Vikings at Edington; the consolidation of the Kingdom of England; and finally, the conquest of England by Duke William of Normandy.

Programme details

Seminars meet each weekday morning, 09.15-10.45 and 11.15-12.45, with afternoons free for course-related field trips, individual study or exploring the many beautiful places in and around the city.

The end of Roman Britain; the arrival of the Anglo-Saxons; Pagan Anglo-Saxon England.

Conversion to Christianity; the Celtic church and the Roman church; the Synod of Whitby; literacy in Anglo-Saxon England

The Viking incursions; The arrival of the Great Army; King Alfred; the Danelaw; the Burghal System

Field Trip to Asthall Barrow; North Leigh; Taplow; Wallingford

Late Anglo-Saxon England; the Battle of Fulford; the Battle of Stamford Bridge; the Battle of Hastings and the Norman Conquest


Field Trip

Destination:     Asthall Barrow; North Leigh, & Taplow; Wallingford

Excursion rating: Demanding
More than two hours' walk on even ground or up to two hours' walk on rough and/or steep ground or up lots of stairs and steps.


Description Costs
Programme fee (no accom–incl. field trip, lunch and dinner) £1130.00
Programme fee (with single en-suite accom, field trip and meals) £1625.00
Programme fee (with single standard accom, field trip and meals) £1440.00


Mr David Beard


David Beard is a freelance archaeologist and is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries and Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland specializing in medieval archaeology, especially the Anglo-Saxon and Viking periods. He has been involved in continuing education for many years having taught for the Universities of Oxford, London, Essex and Ulster.

Assessment methods

There are no assessments for this course.


Online registration closes on Friday, 1 May 2020 but please note that this course may be fully booked very quickly so early registration is recommended.


During your course, you will stay in typical Oxford student accommodation at Christ Church in buildings which range from the 18th to the 20th century.

The fee stated includes a bedroom with private bathroom facilities (shower, washbasin and toilet). Most are single but a few twins are available*.

There is also a limited number of standard rooms available, which all have their own washbasin and shaver point but shared bath and toilet facilities. Most standard rooms are single but there are a few ‘twin sets’ (two single rooms opening off a sitting room)*.

*If you wish to book a twin en-suite room or a standard twin set room each person should complete an application form and email it to us at as these rooms cannot be booked online. (Forms may also be posted to us at: The Oxford Experience, OUDCE, 1 Wellington Square, Oxford, OX1 2JA, UK)

Please indicate your accommodation preferences (either online or on your application form) together with a note of any mobility problems. Students should note that bedrooms are modestly-furnished, do not have air-conditioning and are arranged on a staircase of four or five floors.

We regret that we are unable to offer you accommodation at Christ Church prior to or following your course. Additionally, family or friends who are not enrolled in the programme cannot be accommodated in college.


If accommodation is unavailable in a particular week, we also offer places on a non-residential basis whereby participants can take classes and have meals at the college, having arranged their own accommodation elsewhere.

If you wish to enrol on a non-residential basis please complete an application form and email it to us at as this option cannot be booked online. (Forms may also be posted to us at: The Oxford Experience, OUDCE, 1 Wellington Square, Oxford, OX1 2JA, UK)