The frame for our new Saxon house will be erected over the next few weeks. The reconstruction is based on a building dated to c.950 excavated in Steyning, West Sussex, in the late 1980s.
The Needlework Group have made a woman’s outfit (c.950) consisting of a long-sleeved linen undergarment with an undyed woollen over-garment or gown (referred to in contemporary documents as a ‘cyrtel’), a woollen cloak (a bit like an asymmetric poncho, so pulled on over the head rather than pinned) and a finer wool headdress which covers the head & neck.
They have also made a boy’s outfit consisting of a linen undergarment, a woollen over-garment or tunic (‘cyrtel’ or ‘tunece’ in Old English) & woollen leg coverings.
The main evidence for Anglo-Saxon clothing from this period is from manuscript illustrations, a limited selection of written sources & a few clothing fragments. More so than with later periods, our interpretation of the evidence for late Saxon clothing is speculative.