EBK Activity Sheets


Saxon Kingdom 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 century.
  • 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.


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