As already mentioned in this section, the three structures (re)constructed in our Gyrwe’s farm and showcased in these Collections were excavated at Thirlings, New Bewick, and Yeavering, all in modern Northumberland. All are less than 30km inland from the important coastal sites of Lindisfarne and Bamburgh. Indeed, the inland sites are all within a day’s march of the coastal ones, potentially explaining the high concentration of archaeological remains in the area.

Thirlings and Yeavering are in the Milfield Basin, where there is evidence of farming since prehistory. They are surrounded by 15sq kilometres of rich archaeological activity and settlements dating to the 6th-7th century CE. This includes Milfield, Cheviot Quarry, and Lanton Quarry.

Interpretations of these sites, and the types of buildings found there, have been pivotal in the debate surrounding social change in Britain from the 5th-8th century CE. Scholars have tried to identify whether the inhabitants were indigenous ‘Romano-Britons” or “Anglo-Saxons” from the continent.

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