Following Britain’s exit from the contracting Roman Empire, the towns and cities, which had already been in decline during the later part of the Romano-British period, rapidly fall into disuse. Severed from the wider network of the Roman Empire the focus appears to return to the local scale and immediate landscape. However processes were at work which lead to the emergence of Saxon society.
The materials dating from periods represented in these landscapes are still under investigation. Our understanding of the these landscapes therefore remains incomplete.
This was a period when people were having to cope with a breakdown in all aspects of the complex society of the Romano British period and adapt to an influx of settlers of Northern European descent.
At Heathrow a dispersed pattern of settlement seems once again to emerge. For example just south of the present day medieval village of Longford is a settlement consisting of rectangular buildings dating to the 6th century AD. A stag broach found in a pit in the settlement may originate from the north western Mediterranean area. There is some evidence of arable cultivation in a generally open scrubby landscape. Heathland also seems to be present.
Out of this Saxon settlement developed the medieval village of Longford, elements of which remain today.