When the Roman forces
withdrew from Britain in the 4th century to defend their empire from
invading Visigoths, they left the Romano-Britains with no formal government
control. Without a Roman army of occupation it led to struggles by various
groups to gain power. Waves of immigrants from Saxony in North Germany and
Jutland in Denmark crossed the North Sea. In their attempts to gain control and
settle the area, existing settlements may have been destroyed. If it was a good
site, the Saxons or Jutes would have built their own settlement on it, using
the available wood or stone as building materials.
Once the Saxon kings had
taken control, they rewarded their military and religious leaders with tracts
of land. In an attempt to share out the land in an equitable way the parishes
tended to be in a rectangular form, about 3 km. long and 1.5 km. wide. This was
laid out to allow a range of relief, soils and drainage to be exploited by the
tenants. The parishes of Everton and Tetworth stretched SE - NW from the sandy
ridge top soils, down the slope onto isolated patches of sand and gravel
surrounded by the much heavier clay of the valley floor towards the River Ivel
at Tempsford. The Roman road bisected the parish but whether it was still used
for transport is not known.
The Lord of the Manor rented
out strips of land to their tenants. According to the Domesday Book,
immediately prior to the French lords taking over there was a small, stone
church and 30 tenants. Their cottages were probably close to the present site
of the Church where five trackways converged.
Whilst there is no evidence
that the Viking invasion ever reached this area, local gossip suggests that a
Viking longboat is buried under Warden Hill. (Conversation with Peggy
There was probably some impact
following the invasion of the Danes as a few miles to the west, their army
constructed what is now known as Cannock's Castle in Tempsford. It was a Danish
outpost controlling the confluence of the Great Ouse and the river Ivel.