You're viewing an archived page from a previous Festival of Ideas. See this year's festival »
We know a lot about Anglo-Saxon kings and bishops, and the important battles and reform movements they were involved in. But we know a lot less about things they had in common with the rest of the population, such as what they ate. In this talk, Dr Debby Banham will explore what we can find out about Anglo-Saxon food and drink, and how. What crops were grown, and what animals did people keep? What food could they gather from the wild? How did they process their produce, and turn it into the meals they ate? Did they eat different food at different times of day, or year? Did different people eat different food, or drink different drinks? What did they enjoy, and what did they just eat because they had to? What did different kinds of food and drink mean to people? Who did all the work? How did Anglo-Saxon food and drink differ from what we eat and drink today? And how do we know all this? We’ll look at written information, archaeological remains, and pictures, to see how much we can find out with determination and ingenuity.
There will also be an opportunity to try some bread and Eoforwic Ale, both made to Anglo-Saxon recipes.
Debby Banham is an Anglo-Saxon historian, based in Cambridge. Her books include Food and Drink in Anglo-Saxon England (Tempus, 2004) and, with Rosamond Faith, Anglo-Saxon Farms and Farming (OUP, 2014).
Using an authentic Anglo-Saxon recipe, Leeds Brewery is brewing some beer – Eoforwic Ale – for York Festival of Ideas. It will be on sale throughout the Festival at the Duke of York pub on King’s Square, York, and will also be available at the Back to the Beer-Hall: More Anglo-Saxon Poetry evening taking place in the pub on Thursday 11 June.
Guerilla Signs: In search of Anglian York
Eoforwic was the name for York during the four and a half centuries between Roman York and the Viking city. This period, the Anglian (or Anglo-Saxon) era was long, yet there are few visible reminders of it in the modern city. Guerilla signs made by the Friends of York’s Anglian Era will appear along the city walls and elsewhere near the city centre, to highlight the buried evidence and lost treasures of that time.