The paper ‘builds’ two Anglo-Saxon virtual buildings, a stone church and a timber house or small hall, using Old English vocabulary. At each phase of the construction, certain of the vocabulary is discussed, drawing on evidence from archaeology and surviving buildings, from etymology, and from contemporary translation from Latin. The aim is to investigate the potential of interdisciplinary studies in the field of Anglo-Saxon architecture and building processes.
On first consideration, it would seem highly productive to combine the forces of archaeological and semantic research to elucidate the subject of Anglo-Saxon buildings. More detailed investigation, however, often leads to disappointment, as Old English lexemes, usually occurring without elaborate explanation, are difficult to link to excavated structural remains which are not, of course, conveniently labelled with Old English technical building terms. Nevertheless, it has been found profitable to link evidence from the two disciplines in certain cases, and the aim of this article is to explore the possibilities for interdisciplinary research in this area.