Saxon religion


All Saint's church, WingReconstruction of All Saint's, Wing, in the Saxon periodSaxon churches

The majority of medieval buildings that survive to the present day are religious buildings. Why would religious buildings survive better than other buildings? Not many of the churches in the county have any surviving Saxon work. Saxon churches were built from the seventh century AD onwards, such as All Saint's, Wing. Do a search on Buckinghamshire's Heritage Portal and mark the names of the churches that have earlier Saxon parts on the map of Saxon churches in Buckinghamshire attached to this page.


Saxon burials

Burials associated with Saxon churches followed Christian traditions of not being buried with grave goods. Before Saxons were converted to Christianity they did not have churches but they did have cemeteries for burying their dead. They were buried in many different ways. There are several pagan Saxon cemeteries in Buckinghamshire, such as the one near Dinton Castle. Do a search on Buckinghamshire's Heritage Portal and mark on your map of Buckinghamshire where the Saxon cemeteries and burials are.


Saxon burial from DintonFrom your research, put pagan or Christian under each category:

Burials orientated east-west?     or          north-south?




Flat graves?              or                    mounds?




Buried with               or                    without objects?




Saxon grave goods

Saxon saucer brooches from burial in DintonWhy do you think Saxons were buried with objects? There may be personal reasons why someone would want to be buried with certain artefacts; there may be reasons that a community would want to bury objects with the dead and there may be religious reasons. Think of all the reasons why people might be buried with objects and put them in this table.



Why would people be buried with grave goods?

Personal reasons


Community’s reasons


Religious reasons


Taplow Saxon barrow

Saxon graves

One of the most spectacular Saxon burials in Buckinghamshire was found at Taplow under a barrow. Hopefully you found that in your research. Search for Taplow Barrow on Buckinghamshire's Heritage Portal and write what you find out about it here:

  1. When was it excavated?
  2. Who excavated it?
  3. What objects were buried with the body?
  4. What date was the barrow constructed?


The most famous Saxon burial in Britain was at Sutton Hoo in Suffolk. Look for information on Sutton Hoo in books and on the internet to compare to Taplow.

  1. When was it excavated?
  2. Who excavated it?
  3. What objects were found with the body?
  4. What date was the barrow constructed?
  5. Why is Sutton Hoo better known than Taplow? Compare what types of finds came from both, when they were excavated and how they were published. 

Go back to find more Changes in the landscape.