Drawings of Anglo-Saxons


Drawings of objects

Eating and Drinking

What did the Anglo-Saxons eat and drink?

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What foods did the Anglo-Saxons eat?

The Anglo-Saxons ate may of the foods we eat today but they had to grow most of their own food.

They grew wheat, barley and rye which could be used to make flour. Bread could then be made from this flour using a bread-oven.

Animals drawn by Anna (sheep), Evie (chicken), Henry (Duck), Alex (Horse), Justine (pig) and Hassan (Cow)
Many different animals were raised on Anglo-Saxon farms and provided meat and other foods:
  • cows/cattle = milk and beef
  • sheep = lamb, mutton and ewes milk
  • goats = milk and meat
  • pigs = meat
  • chickens = eggs and meat

Milk was used to make cheese and butter.

Unlike some other people at this time, the Anglo-Saxons did not eat horses. In fact there were laws forbidding it. However archaeologists have found evidence that horses were occassionally eaten.

The Anglo-Saxons would occassionally hunt animals for meat. Deer, wild boar and wild birds were also eaten.

Fish were caught from rivers. Anglo-Saxons who lived near the sea could also catch sea fish and collect shell-fish, like mussels and oysters.

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Drawing by Jade age 10

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Vegetables were grown by the Anglo-Saxons. They did not have all the vegetables we have today but they did eat peas, beans, parsnips, turnips, leeks, onions, cabbage, lettice and even garlic. They also had carrots but they were white not orange like today.

They also used herbs and plants which would have grown wild, such as nettle and dandilion leaves, mint and mushrooms.

Nuts and fruits, such as hazelnuts, apples, pears, strawberries and blackberries, were also eaten by the Anglo-Saxons.

The Anglo-Saxons did not have sugar but used honey instead. They kept bees in beehives made like baskets.
Beehive drawn by Raven age 10
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What did the Anglo-Saxons drink?

Tea and coffee did not exist in Anglo-Saxon Britian and water was not always very clean so most Anglo-Saxons drunk beer. Even children would drink beer. There were different strengths of beer and children were given the weakest.

Horn drawn by Liam age 10

Drawn by Liam age 10

Mead, an alcoholic drink made from honey, was also drunk. Probably mainly on special occassions.

If you were a rich Anglo-Saxon you may also have drunk wine imported from the mediterranean.


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What did the Anglo-Saxons use to eat and drink?

The Anglo Saxons ate their food from bowls made of wood, pottery or even horn. They cooked their food in clay pots or iron cauldrons over the fire. They used knives and spoons to eat their food - as forks had not been invented yet!

Horns and wooden or pottery bowls and cups were used to drink from. The wealthy also appear to have used glass bowls and cups but these were not very common.

Spoon drawn by Mitchell age 10 1/2
Cuddesdon bowl drawn by Tom age 10
Wooden bowl drawn by Joe age 10

(Mitchell age 10 1/2)

Glass bowl
(Tom age 10)
Wooden bowl
(Joe age 10)
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