Chapter 1: A Village is Born - The Arrival of the Jutes

Article Index
Chapter 1: A Village is Born
The Arrival of the Jutes
Arrival of the Jutes contd
How Certain Can We Be?
The Saxon Settlement
TheSaxon Village
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The arrival of the Jutes

Mundelingeham is the place of the ‘Mundelings’ – Mundel’s people. But who was Mundel? Our only knowledge of his existence comes from an Anglo-Saxon place name written in an eighth century document. But our curiosity demands more. We not only want to know the person, but where he came from and why and how he came. With little documentary or archaeological evidence available our answers must come from a broader examination of the first Saxon incursions of this land. Our story begins in the last years of the Roman Empire.

A Roman Farm

In 1980, while trial-trenching around a new duck-pond, an excavation was made in a small grass field north-east of a house in Cherry Lane called Mustapha. It uncovered three sides of a ditched rectangular field-enclosure. Other ditches showed that it formed part of a more extensive complex. The ditches had been filled by a substantial amount material which had been washed down the hill where the church now stands. In the wash were substantial amounts of pot sherds dating from Roman times or earlier. A date for the farmstead of 30-100 AD was suggested. |Some mediaeval pottery was also found.

A combination of political intrigue, plague epidemics and economic collapse meant that the empire was slowly imploding. Its borders were under constant attack, particularly from the Germanic tribes to the North. Successive waves, notably of Goths, Vandals and Visigoths swept through the continent. In 407 Constantine III took the last legion remaining in Britain to support his quest to become the Western Emperor. It was now up to the Britons alone to defend British borders from marauding Saxons and invading Picts.

By 465 the Jutish Kingdom of Cantware was established. For a long time orthodox history told us that the establishment of Anglo-Saxon kingdoms in Britain was largely by a gradual process of settlement and assimilation, with minor skirmishes with the natives.. But there is a maverick history which lends more credence to ancient texts considered unreliable by orthodoxy. It tells of a British king, Vortigern, so beset by Pictish invaders that he called on a Jute, Hengest, to help him in return for land in Kent. Hengest, with three ships, landed at Ebbsfleet. After successfully dealing with the Pictish threat there was a dispute over the grant of land, leading to a war between the Britons and Jutes. Through a combination of military prowess and treachery the Jutes were victorious and established their kingdom.


+1 #1 Anne 2011-03-16 16:08
:-) Very interesting. What a lovely English village Great Mongeham is.

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