Saxon and Viking Stevenage
When Roman rule ended in Britain, the nation was plunged into dark times with no structure and no governing forces. Newcomers began to arrive from across the North Sea. They made huts out of wattle and daub and settled on hillsides in the Shephall, Box and Woolenwick areas of Stevenage. These were the Saxons.
A spear-head found at Ardeley indicates the troubled times of Saxon Stevenage. New invaders called Danes or Vikings from Scandinavia, raided the coasts around the British Isles. Land under Viking control was known as Danelaw. With the border of Danelaw only a few miles away, the area around Stevenage frequently suffered raids. Village names such as Dane End, close to Stevenage, are reminders of this troubled past.
During the first half of the 11th century, the manor and lands of Stevenage were settled and prosperous. Edward the Confessor granted the Manor of Stevenage to the Abbot of the newly built Abbey of St Peter at Westminster in 1062.