Saxon Hamwic was situated in an area now covered by the Queensland, Belvidere, Chapel and Crosshouse districts of Southampton. It is bounded by Oxford Avenue to the north, the River Itchen to the east, Marsh Lane and the Itchen Toll Bridge to the south and St. Andrew's Road, Kingsway and St. Mary's to the west.
The middle Saxon (c.700-850) town of Hamwic was situated around what is now Northam and St Marys.
Hamwic was an important port, and finds of pottery, glass, coins, stone and metalwork point to trading connections with Scandinavia, France, the Low Countries and the Rhineland.
Excavations have also shown that many crafts and industries, including pottery making, iron working, lead making, weaving and bone working were practiced in Hamwic. We can picture Hamwic as a busy, densely settled town of merchants and craft's people.
Hamwic declined towards the end of the 9th century, presumably as a result of economic and political changes brought about, in part, by Viking activity. The excavations at Hamwic have resulted in one of the best collections of Middle Saxon finds in Europe.
A selection of Saxon objects are available in a Handling Box, which can be taken out to schools by our Education Officer to find out more see our section on Education.