A brief history of the Anglo-Saxons in the East Riding of Yorkshire. From colonisation through to conversion.
From around 410AD, Rome cut most of its ties with the province of Britain, as it struggled to survive against waves of Germanic tribes migrating from Northern Europe. Troops were withdrawn to the continent, administration collapsed and towns were abandoned or saw reduced activity. The Angles, Saxons and Jutes began colonising eastern England from the fifth century onwards before settling in the rest of the country.
Bridlington was settled by the Angles and was known as Beohrtal's ton - the farm belonging to Beohrtal. It is likely that there were settlements all over East Yorkshire evidenced by the finds of sword pommels and jewellery in the collections of the Museums Service. Archaeologically, Saxon settlements are hard to detect, as all the buildings were of timber at this period.
The Anglo Saxon kingdoms of Deira and Bernicia were united under the reign of King Aethelfrith in 604, eventually becoming the single kingdom of Northumbria under King Edwin. In 627 he was baptised a Christian by Paulinus at his capital city of Eoforwic - York and so began the slow process of England's conversion to Christianity.
As Christianity became widely adopted, the pagan burial practices became outmoded and sites like Sewerby's Anglo Saxon cemetery were abandoned. Nevertheless, its importance is recognised as it is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979.