FROM THE BRONZE AGE TO THE ANGLO-SAXONS

Hounslow Boar and Dog Figurines, 150 BC - 50BC (circa). The Trustees of the British Museum.

Roman Britain saw the introduction of an extensive infrastructure network, known as the Roman Roads. Hounslow’s High Street was originally part of a Roman Road from Londinium to the now abandoned Roman town of Calleva/Silchester, an important centre on the way to southwest England. Although Hounslow itself did not exist in Roman times, there were small Roman settlements at Brentford and Staines, and substantial through-traffic along the new highways.

 

Anglo-Saxons arrived in Britain from Denmark and Northern Germany following the withdrawal of the Romans. With them, their language and culture quickly filtered into the existing ones. Hounslow gets its name from the Anglo-Saxons! Near West Thames College there once stood a large hill or HLAW. This mound was the seat of the local open-air court for the Hounslow Hundred, an administrative division of the County of Middlesex – the land of the Middle Saxons! It is thought that an Anglo-Saxon settler named Hundi lived close to the mound. It became known as Hundi’s Hlaw, which is where the modern place-name HOUNSLOW comes from!

Human settlements have been found in the Borough of Hounslow dating back to the Bronze Age (2300-650 BC). During expansion of Heathrow airport in 1969, pits and ditches were found indicating previous existence of living huts. In 1864, a hoard was discovered, now housed at the British Museum, that included flat axes, spearheads and sword fragments, as well as 6 bronze figurines from the Iron Age (800 BC- 100 AD): 3 boars, 2 dogs or horses, and a small wheel. Of the total 22 bronze figurines found in Britain, the 6 from the Hounslow Hoard have become the most famous for their quality and abstract design. It is thought that two of the boars, then a symbol of strength and often used in war imagery, most likely sat atop military helmets. The other has a crest along its back with two holes, and may have been worn as an amulet around the neck.

Map and boat, MacDonald Educational, 1979.

Illustration sample of boar and dog figurines

Montague Sharpe and Hundi, MacDonald Educational, 1979.

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