Drawings of Anglo-Saxons


Drawings of objects

Anglo-Saxon Beads

Drawing of beads

Beads were mainly worn by Anglo-Saxon women and young girls. They were worn in strings, usually between the pair of brooches which fastened together a woman's dress. Some necklaces have in excess of 100 beads.

Beads have been found in the graves of children, but it seems that they wore one or two beads rather than long strings. They may have been worn by girls rather than boys.
Beads from Wallingford Oxfordshire (AN1938.1232)

Men may also have worn one or two beads either as a necklace, as belt toggles or as sword fastenings.

Beads were made from many materials:

  • plain glass
  • decorated glass
Glass beads from Abingdon Oxfordshire (AN1935.47f)
  • amber
String of amber beads from Wallingford Oxfordshire (AN1938.1217)
  • rock crystal
  • stone
Rock crystal bead from Abingdon Oxfordshire (AN1935.53c)
String of beads from Abingdon, Oxfordshire (AN1934.210)
Other objects were also suspended on Anglo-Saxon necklaces:
  • coins
  • teeth
  • metal tubesbeads
  • metal rings with or without beads