in the the Midlands
- Mercia covered most of the
midland counties of England. The name means 'Land of the
Border People'. This is because the first settlers lived on
the borders between the British and Saxon areas. This was
probably in Lincolnshire.
- Traditionally, these settlers
were a Saxon group called Angles, from Angeln (South-West Denmark).
- Their first king was a man named
Creoda. He lived in the late 6th century. His family were
known as the Iclingas, after his ancestor, Icel.
- The kings lived at Tamworth and
Gloucester. Their Royal monastery was at Repton, but they also
liked Winchcombe and, later, Gloucester (St. Oswald's).
- The most famous Kings of Mercia
were Penda and Offa.
- King Penda was a pagan. He
fought against Northumbria a lot and made his kingdom big
and important. He lived in the mid-7th century.
- King Offa was friends with
the Holy Roman Emperor, Charlemagne. He built a big bank
& ditch to show the border between England and Wales.
It was called Offa's Dyke. He lived in the late 8th
- In Mercia, there were many
smaller 'sub-kingdoms'. They had
their own local kings, but the King of Mercia was in charge.
- In the 10th century, Mercia had a
powerful Queen named Aethelflaed. She was the daughter of
Alfred the Great and sister of Edward the Elder. She built
lots of walled towns and fought off the Vikings.