This was a ferocious battle with no quarter asked or given. Coordinates. It was at Athelney that Alfred planned his campaign against the Vikings. This post on Saxon Kent at the time of King Alfred is adapted from my book, King Alfred: A Man on the Move, available from Amazon. Sadly, his bones and many others were lost in the late 1700s, when a prison was built on the land. Modern day visitors to Winchester can’t help but soak in the history as they wander through the ancient streets of this small city. He established fortified towns, unified the remaining Saxon kingdoms and brought a semblance of peace and prosperity to the people of England. Sweyn, his son Canute and his successors ruled until 1042. Though London was already a prominent city in pre-Conquest England, only one king from the House of Wessex was buried there (Æthelred the Unready, at Old St. Paul's, now lost). Alfred's Castle is a small Iron Age hill fort, situated at grid reference SU277822, behind Ashdown Park in the civil parish of Ashbury in Oxfordshire (formerly Berkshire). In an epic last stand at Chippenham, the vikings defeated Alfred and his brothers. Gathering an army of around 3000 men from Somerset, Wiltshire and West Hampshire, he attacked Guthrum and the Viking army at Edington in May 878. The House of Wessex then briefly regained its power for 24 years, but after the deposition of its last scion, Ethelred's great-grandson Edgar Ætheling, it faded into the annals of history. Powered by WordPress. The Last Kingdom season four is now streaming on Netflix – check out our list of the best TV shows on Netflix, or find out what else is on with our TV Guide. West Dean has limited parking, so we recommend you park in the forest car park and walk in to the village from there. Alfred the Great was indeed King of Wessex from 871 to 899. Here in early 878 he built a fortress, reinforcing the existing defences of an earlier Iron Age fort. Alfred and his successors would also be part of this dynasty, which would continue ruling in the main line all the way until Alfred's descendant, Ethelred the Unready, whose reign in the late 10th century and early 11th century saw a brief period of Danish occupation and following his and his son Edmund Ironside's death, kingship by the Danish Cnut the Great and his successors to 1042. [6] The arms attributed to Edward were probably based on the design of a type of coin minted during his reign. He was also historical adviser on the BBC TV adaptation The Last Kingdom. Not many sources survive from his time on the throne and he went largely unstudied by historians for a long time. Edgar's niece Matilda of Scotland later married William's son Henry I, forming a link between the two dynasties. For the next few years an uneasy peace existed between the two sides. Their rule was often contested, notably by the Danish king Sweyn Forkbeard who invaded in 995 and occupied the united English throne from 1013 to 1014, during the reign of Æthelred the Unready and his son Edmund Ironside. Wessex, also known as the Kingdom of the West Saxons, was a large and influential Anglo-Saxon kingdom from 519 to 927AD. After fierce fighting, the West Saxons managed to drive the Vikings back to Reading. For just £25 enjoy a tasting trio and learn from a Laithwaite's wine expert! He died in 924 while fighting a rebellion in Mercia and was buried in Hyde Abbey alongside his father. Standing atop its ramparts will help us to understand the tragic epilogue to Alfred’s story as the attacks on southern England took their toll during the ‘Second Viking Age’ and the English kingdom finally fell to a Danish King, Cnut, in 1016. By entering your details, you are agreeing to Radio Times privacy policy. 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Battlefield ToursArchaeological ToursExperience ToursWalking ToursFuture PlanningRequest BrochureSite Map, The Cultural Experience8 Barnack Business ParkBlakey RoadSalisburySP1 2LPUnited Kingdom, UK: 0345 475 1815USA (toll free): 1-877-381-2914International: 00 44 1722 237795, © 2015 - 2020 Midas Tours Ltd & SWD - Legal Info - Terms of Use - Privacy Policy / Cookies - Sign-in, Dr Lavelle discusses the legend of Wayland's Smithy, Monument to the battle of Ethandun / Edington 878, Pre tour briefing from Ryan Lavelle in the lounge of hotel, Dr Lavelle recounts the truce of 876 upon Wareham's western walls, Stunning view from Uffington Castle on Ashdown, At the only known section of Winchester's Roman wall, Alfred the Great: War, Kingship and Culture in Anglo-Saxon England, Alfred's Wars: Sources and Interpretations of Anglo-Saxon Warfare in the Viking Age, Fortifications in Wessex c. 800-1066: The Defences of Alfred the Great Against the Vikings, Travelling through the fine English countryside during mid summer. Take a look at some independent reviews of this tour by previous participants here, Take a look at some of the images taken on our most recent tour, document.write('back'); On January 6th 878 the Vikings under their king Guthrum launched a surprise attack on Alfred’s base at Chippenham. If it’s true this is where Alfred met Asser, then West Dean will be one of the most important places in the early formation of England as we know it. The story of Æthelflæd, Lady of the Mercians and one of the most powerful women to have lived during the Dark Ages. It is in the parish of Brewham in the English county of Somerset (though the tower itself is in Wiltshire), and was built as part of the Stourhead estate and landscape. Alfred was not in good health (it is possible he suffered from Crohn’s Disease) and the years of fighting had taken their toll.


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