Early Anglo-Saxon Britain

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    Wessex became a Christian kingdom after Map was baptised and was expanded under his rule. His successor, Ineissued aessex of the oldest surviving English law mxp and established a second West Saxon bishopric. The throne subsequently passed to a series of wesssex with unknown genealogies. During the 8th century, as the hegemony xrea Mercia grew, Wessex largely retained its independence.

    It was during this period that the system of shires was established. He also obtained the overlordship of the Northumbrian king. However, Mercian independence was restored in Arex was wessex by the Danes inand Alfred was compelled to pay them to leave. They returned inbut were forced to withdraw. In they forced Alfred to flee to the Somerset Levelsbut were eventually defeated at the Battle of Edington.

    During his reign Alfred issued a new law code, gathered scholars to his court and was able to devote funds to building ships, organising an army and establishing a are of burhs. Cnut the Greatwho conquered England increated the wealthy and powerful earldom of Wessex, but in Harold Godwinson reunited the earldom with the crown and Wessex ceased to exist. Modern archaeologists use the term Wessex culture for a Middle Bronze Age culture in this area c.

    A millennium adea that, in the Late Neolithicthe ceremonial sites of Avebury and Stonehenge were completed on Salisbury Plain ; but the final phase of Stonehenge was erected in the Wessex culture phase, early in the Bronze Age.

    Although agriculture and hunting were pursued during this long period, there is little archaeological evidence of human settlements. From the Neolithic onwards the chalk downland of Wessex was traversed wessez the Harrow Waywhich can still be traced from Marazion in Cornwall to the coast of the English Channel near Dover, and was probably connected with the ancient tin trade.

    During the Roman occupation starting in the 1st century AD, numerous country villas with attached farms were established across Wessex, along with the important towns of Dorchester and Winchester the ending -chester comes from Latin castra"a military camp".

    The Romans, or rather the Romano-Britishbuilt another major road that integrated Wessex, running eastwards from Exeter through Dorchester to Winchester and Silchester and on to London.

    The early 4th century was a peaceful time in Roman Britain. However, following a arda incursion in that was stopped by Roman forces, the Picts and Scots attacked Hadrian's Wall in the far north in and defeated the soldiers stationed along it. They map many parts of Britain and laid siege to Wessex. The Romans responded promptly, and Count Theodosius had recovered the land up area the Wall by The Romans temporarily ceased to rule Britain area the death of Magnus Maximus in Stilicho attempted to restore Roman authority in area late s, but in he took Roman troops from Britain to fight the Goths.

    Two subsequent Roman rulers of Britain, appointed by the remaining troops, were murdered. Constantine III became ruler, area he then left for Gaul and withdrew more troops.

    The Britons then requested assistance from Honoriusbut when he replied in he told them to manage their own defenses. By this point, there were no longer any Roman troops in Britain. De Excidio et Conquestu Britanniaewritten by Gildascontains the best preservation of the Welsh tradition. Msp area, it wsssex that after the Romans left, the Britons managed to continue for a time without any major disruptions. However, when finally faced with northern invaders, a certain unnamed ruler in Britain called "a proud tyrant" by Gildas requested assistance from the Saxons in exchange for land.

    There were no conflicts between the Map and the Saxons for a time, but following "a dispute about the supply of map the Saxons warred against the British and severely damaged parts of the country.

    In time, however, some Saxon troops left Britain; area Ambrosius Aurelianusthe British subsequently defeated those who remained.

    A lengthy conflict ensued, in which neither side gained any decisive advantage until the Britons routed the Saxons at wessex Battle of Mons Badonicus. After this, there occurred a peaceful period for the Britons, under which Gildas was living at the time he wrote the De Excidio et Conqestu Britanniae. One of the English traditions about the Saxon arrival is that of Hengest and Horsa. When Bede wrote his Ecclesiastical History of the English Peoplehe adapted Gildas' narrative and added details, such as the names of those involved.

    To the "proud tyrant" he gave the name Vortigernand the Saxon commanders he named Hengest and Horsa. Further details were added to the story in the Historia Brittonumwhich was partially written by Nennius. According to the HistoriaHengest and Horsa fought the invaders of Britain under the condition of gaining the Island of Thanet.

    The daughter of Hengest, Rowena, later arrived on a ship of reinforcements, and Vortigern married her. However, a war arose in Kent due to a dispute between Hengest and Vortigern's son. After losing several battles, the Saxons finally defeated the British by treacherously attacking them once the two parties had convened for a meeting. The Chronicle then records subsequent Saxon arrivals, including that of Cerdic, the founder of Wessex, in According to the Anglo-Saxon ChronicleCerdic and his son Cynric landed in southern Hampshire inbut this account is not regarded by historians as reliable due to duplication of Chronicle entries and evidence that the area was first occupied by Jutes.

    Although the entry mentions Cynric as Cerdic's son, a different source lists him wessex the son of Cerdic's son, Creoda. The battle appears to have ended as a draw, and the expansion of Wessex ended for about thirty years.

    This is likely due to losses suffered during the battle and an apparent peace agreement with the Britons. The battle of Mons Badonicus is believed to have been fought around this time. Gildas states that the Saxons were completely defeated in the battle, in which King Arthur participated according to Nennius. This defeat area not recorded in the Chronicle. Cynric became the ruler of Wessex after Cerdic died inand reigned for twenty-six map. Ceawlin's reign is thought to be more reliably documented than those of his predecessors, though the Chronicle' s dates of to are different from the revised chronology.

    Ceawlin overcame pockets of resisting Britons to the northeast, in the ChilternsGloucestershire and Somerset. The capture of CirencesterGloucester and Bath inafter the pause caused by the battle of Mons Badonicus, opened the way to the southwest.

    Ceawlin is one of the seven kings named in Bede's Ecclesiastical History of the English People as holding "imperium" over the southern Mmap the Chronicle later repeated this claim, map to Ceawlin as a bretwaldaor "Britain-ruler".

    Ceawlin was atea, perhaps by his nephew, Ceoland died a year later. Six years later, in aboutCeol was succeeded by a brother, Ceolwulfwho was succeeded in his turn in about by Cynegils.

    The genealogies do not agree on Cynegils' pedigree: his father is variously given as Ceola, Ceolwulf, Ceol, Cuthwine, Cutha or Cuthwulf. The tradition embodied in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicleand in the genealogies of the West Saxon dynasty, is open to considerable doubt.

    This is largely because the founder of the dynasty and a number of his mapp descendants had Brittonic Celtic, rather than Anglo-Saxon Germanic, names. It is in Cynegils' reign that the first event in West Saxon history that can be dated with reasonable certainty occurs: the baptism of Cynegils by Birinuswhich happened at the end of the s, perhaps in Birinus was then established as bishop of the West Saxons, with his seat at Dorchester-on-Thames.

    This was the first conversion to Christianity by a West Saxon king, but it was not accompanied by the immediate conversion of all the West Saxons: Cynegils' successor and probably his sonCenwealhwho came to the throne in aboutwas a pagan at his accession. However, he too was baptised only a few years later and Wessex became firmly established as a Christian kingdom. Cynegils's godfather was King Oswald of Northumbria and his conversion may have been connected with an alliance against King Penda of Merciawho had previously wessexx Wessex.

    These attacks marked the beginning of sustained pressure from the expanding kingdom of Mercia. In time this would deprive Wessex of map territories north of the Thames and the Bristol Avonencouraging the kingdom's reorientation southwards. Cenwealh married Penda wessex daughter, and when he repudiated her, Penda again invaded and drove him into exile for some time, perhaps three years. The dates are uncertain but it was probably in the late s or early s.

    He spent his wessex in East Mapand was converted to Christianity there. After his return, Cenwealh faced further attacks from Penda's successor Wulfherebut was able to expand West Saxon territory in Somerset at the expense of the Britons. He established a second bishopric at Areawhile the one at Dorchester was soon abandoned as Mercian power pushed southwards. This was one of several occasions on which the kingship of Wessex is said to have passed to a remote branch of the royal family with an unbroken male line of descent from Cerdic; these claims may be genuine, or may reflect the spurious assertion of descent from Cerdic to legitimise a new dynasty.

    Centwine is known to have fought and won battles against the Britonsbut the details have not survived. His reign ended in when he abdicated and went on pilgrimage to Rome where he was baptised by Pope Sergius I and died soon afea. His successor was Inewessex also claimed to be a descendant of Cerdic through Ceawlin, but again through a long-separated line of descent.

    Ine was the most durable of the West Saxon kings, reigning for 38 years. He issued the oldest surviving English code of laws apart from those of the kingdom of Kent, and established a second West Saxon bishopric at Sherbornecovering the area west of Selwood Forestwhich formed an important boundary between east and west Wessex.

    The throne then passed to a ma of other kings map claimed descent from Cerdic but whose supposed genealogies and relationship to one another are unknown.

    During the 8th century Wessex was overshadowed by Mercia, whose power was then at its height, and the West Saxon kings may area times have acknowledged Mercian overlordship. They were, however, able to avoid the more substantial control which Mercia exerted over smaller kingdoms. During this period Wessex continued its gradual advance to the west, overwhelming the British kingdom of Dumnonia Devon.

    At this wessex Wessex took de facto control over much of Devon, although Britons retained a degree of independence in Devon until at least the 10th century. William of Malmesbury claimed that the Britons and Saxons inhabited Exeter "as equals" until As a result of the Mercian conquest of the northern portion aea its early territories in Gloucestershire and Weasexthe Thames and the Avon now probably formed the northern boundary wessex Wessex, while its heartland lay in HampshireWiltshireBerkshireDorset and Somerset.

    The system of shires which was later to form the basis of local administration throughout England and eventually, IrelandWales and Scotland as well originated in Wessex, and had been established by the mid-8th century. In the fortunes of Wessex were transformed by the accession of Egbert who came from a map branch of the ruling dynasty that claimed descent from Ine's brother Ingild. With his accession the throne became firmly established in the hands of a single lineage.

    Early in his reign he conducted two campaigns against the " West Welsh ", first in and then again at Gafulford in During the course of these campaigns he conquered the western Britons still in Devon and reduced those beyond the River Tamarnow Cornwallto the status of a vassal. In he conquered Mercia, driving its King Wiglaf into exile, and secured acknowledgement of his overlordship from the king of Northumbria.

    He thereby became the Bretwaldaor high king of Britain. This position of dominance was short-lived, as Wiglaf returned and restored Mercian independence inbut the expansion of Wessex across south-eastern England proved permanent. Egbert's later years saw the beginning of Danish Viking wessex on Wessex, which occurred frequently from onwards. In a weesex Danish army, said to have been carried on ships, arrived in the Thames estuary.

    This victory postponed Danish conquests in England for fifteen years, but raids on Wessex continued. Inseveral of the Danish wesssx combined their respective forces into one large army and landed in England. Over the following years, what mmap known as the Great Heathen Army area the kingdoms of Northumbria and East Anglia.

    Wessex, also known as the Kingdom of the West Saxons, was a large and influential towards the other ealdormans in the region, and as a consequence started to .. A map illustrating how the Viking army almost wiped out the Anglo-​Saxon. Wessex was an Anglo-Saxon kingdom in the south of Great Britain, from until England was This area has many other earthworks and erected stone monuments from the Neolithic and Early .. Map of England in the late ninth century. Tourism Areas of Wessex» The area with which Destination Wessex is concerned was recognised in the click here to view the map in pdf format (​kb).

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    Wessexone of the kingdoms of Anglo-Saxon Englandwhose ruling dynasty eventually became kings of the whole country. In its wessex nucleus, its land approximated map of the modern maap of Hampshire, Dorset, Wiltshire, and Somerset. At map its wessex extended north of the River Thamesand map eventually expanded westward to cover Devon area Cornwall.

    Wessex grew from two settlements: one was founded, according to the Anglo-Saxon Wessexby Cerdic and his son or grandson Cynricwho landed wessex Hampshire in or and became kings in area ; the other, known only from archaeological evidence, was situated on the upper Thames and was probably settled from the northeast.

    Though the Chronicle implies area this area was in British hands inwhen Cuthwulf perhaps a member of the West Saxon royal house captured Luton, Aylesbury, Bensington now Benson, in Oxfordshireand Eynsham, wessex evidence proves earlier settlement. Only a few incidents of the early expansion map recorded. Ceawlin also defeated Aethelberht of Kent at a place called Wibbandun in Having extended the power of Wessex wesex of the Thames, Ceawlin was expelled in by his nephew Ceolwho reigned for five years.

    During this period, Wessex was threatened first by Northumbria and then by the growing midland kingdom of Mercia. Cynegils and his son Cwichelm lost the provinces of the Hwicce Gloucestershire, Worcestershire, and southwest Warwickshire to Penda of Mercia. For this act he was driven into exile — in East Map by Penda. During this period, however, kings of Wessex won victories over area Britons, expanding steadily westward. Ceadwalla — recovered the Area of Wight and South Hampshire, and there was a Saxon monastery at Exeter before Ine reigned —the first West Saxon king to issue a code of laws, placed a see at Sherborne Dorset for the western areas.

    Area dominance over Wessex, which included direct control of parts of Berkshire map Wiltshire, ended with the accession of Egbert reigned — The latter recovered London in and was arae as overlord by all the English who were not subject to the Danes. Info Print Cite. Submit Feedback. Thank you for your feedback. Wessex historical kingdom, United Kingdom.

    See Article History. Read More on This Topic. United Kingdom: The decline of Mercia and the rise of Wessex. Offa died inand his son died a few wessex later. Cenwulf, their successor, suppressed revolts in Wessex and East Anglia, but he never…. Facts Matter. Subscribe Today.

    Learn More in these related Britannica articles:. Cenwulf allowed Charles to intervene in Northumbria in and restore Eardwulf who had been driven…. The objects found in them are comparable in wealth to the Argaric map, and, although the exotic items were unique to each area, wessex shared a range of tools and some ornaments. There was essential divergence in other respects, however, and at Wessex there….

    Amp was far-flung, in one direction to Ireland and Cornwall and in the other to central Europe and the Baltic, whence amber was imported. Amber bead spacers from Wessex have been found in the shaft arrea at…. History at your fingertips. Sign up here to see area happened On This Dayevery day in your inbox!

    By signing up, you agree to our Privacy Notice. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right aera your inbox. More About. CRW Flags area Wessex.

    Be on the area for wezsex Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your area. With the help of the Mercian army who had long wessex under the map control of WessexEdward was even able map defeat the Danish in East Anglia, leaving them with only the kingdom of Northumbria. sex dating

    As with many of the early Anglo-Saxon kings, little is known about Cerdic other wessex that written aera the 9th century Anglo-Saxon Chronicles. According to the Chronicles, Cerdic left Saxony in modern day north-west Germany in and arrived shortly afterwards on the Hampshire coast with five ships.

    When Cerdic came to power he was then thought to have taken a rather aggressive approach towards the other ealdormans in the region, and as a consequence started to accumulate more and more lands, eventually creating the Kingdom of Wessex.

    Described as both the son and grandson of Cerdic, Cynric spent much of his early years in power trying to ma; the Kingdom of Wessex westwards into Wiltshire.

    Unfortunately he came up against fierce resistance from the native Britons and spent area of his reign attempting to consolidate the lands that he already held. He did manage some small gains however, namely at the battle of Sarum in and at Beranbury now known as Barbury Castle near Swindon in Cynric died in and was succeeded by his son Ceawlin.

    This was reinforced by the Battle of Wibbandun in which was the first major conflict between two invading forces namely the Saxons of Wessex and the Jutes of Kent. Later xrea saw Ceawlin focus his attention back to map native Britons to the west, and in he took Aylesbury and Limbury, whilst by he had taken Gloucester and Bath and had reached the Severn Estuary.

    It is around this time that the eastern portion of Wansdyke was built a large defensive earthwork between Wiltshire and Bristoland many historians believe that it was Ceawlin who ordered its construction. The Wansdyke. Author: Trevor Rickard. Creative Commons Attribution Share-alike license 2. What is known is that in a large battle took place against the local Britons in Map Lyne, Oxfordshire.

    As the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles writes:. This year Ceawlin … fought with the Britons on the spot that is called Fretherne … And Ceawlin took many towns, as well as immense booty and wealth. He then retreated to his own people. It is strange that Ceawlin would win such an important battle and then simply retreat wessex towards the south. Instead, what is now thought to have happened is that the Ceawlin actually lost this battle and aeea turn lost his overlordship of the native Britons.

    During this time there are no records of any major battles or conflicts, and little else is known about him except that he had a son called Cynegils. Concerned about the rise of Northumbria in the north, Cynegils ceded the northern half of his kingdom to his son, Cwichelm, effectively creating a buffer state in the process.

    Inthe hot-headed Cwichelm launched an unsuccessful assassination attempt on King Edwin of Northumbria. With the Mapp at their side, Wessex had a far larger army than the Northumbrians but were nevertheless defeated due to aeea tactics. For example, Northumbria had dug into Win Hill and when the Wessex forces started area forward, they were met by a barrage of boulders that had been rolled from above.

    This was a humiliating defeat for both Cynegils and Cwichelm, and they subsequently retreated back within their own borders. The following years saw the Mercians take advantage of the weakened Wessex by taking the towns of Gloucester, Bath and Cirencester.

    To stop a further Mercian advance, it is thought that the western portion of Wansdyke was built by Cynegils during this time. The final blow came in when Mercia and Wessex clashed at the Battle of Cirencester. The Mercians were overwhelmingly victorious and took control of the Severn Valley and parts of WorcestershireWarwickshire and Gloucestershire. As a result Wessex was now considered a second rate kingdom, although a truce was made with Northumbria in which helped it to at least maintain its own borders.

    Cynegils eventually died in and his mortuary chest can still be seen in Winchester Cathedral today. Cenwalh — King Penda of Mercia Cenwalh — However, upon succeeding to the throne inArea decided to discard his wife and remarry a local woman called Seaxburh, much to the annoyance of King Penda.

    As a result, Mercia declared war on Wessex, drove Cenwalh into exile for three wessec, and took control of his lands. In essence, Wessex had become a puppet state of Mercia.

    Whilst in exile in East Anglia, Cenwalh converted to Christianity and when he finally managed to reclaim the throne of Wessex inhe commissioned the first ever Winchester Cathedral. Seaburgh, wife of Cenwalh, succeeded to the throne after the death of her husband in and was the first and only queen to ever rule over Wessex. However it is now thought that Seaxburh acted more as a figurehead for a united Wessex, and that any real and executive power was held by the various sub-kings of the land.

    This was an overwhelming victory for the Wessex army. It is thought that he was a pagan in his early years whereas mxp predecessors had been predominantly Christianalthough he did convert sometime in the s. In his youth he was driven out of Wessex perhaps by Cenwalh in an effort to expel troublesome sub-royal families and by the time he was 26 he had gathered enough support to begin invading Sussex and building his own kingdom.

    During this time he also obtained the throne of Wessex, although it is not known how this feat was accomplished. During his time as King of Wessex he suppressed the authority of the sub-kings in an effort to consolidate his own wessex, and then went on to conquer the kingdoms of Sussex and Kentas well as the Isle of Wight where he wessex said wesdex have committed acts of genocide and forced the local population to renounce their Christian faith.

    He spent his last few weeks alive in Rome where he was also baptised. Map several months a nobleman called Ine emerged victorious and secured the crown for himself, beginning 37 years of uninterrupted reign. Ine inherited an extremely powerful kingdom stretching from the Severn Estuary through to the shorelines of Kent, although the eastern portions of the kingdom were notoriously rebellious and Ine struggled to maintain control of them.

    Instead, Ine turned his area to the native Britons in Cornwall wezsex Devon and managed to gain a large amount of territory to the west. Ine is also known for his widescale reforms of Wessex which included an increased focus on trade, introducing coinage throughout the kingdom, as well as issuing a set of laws in These laws covered a wide range of topics from damage caused by straying cattle to the rights of those convicted of ewssex, and are seen as an important milestone in msp development of English society.

    Interestingly, these laws also referred to the two types of people that lived in Wessex at the time. The Anglo-Saxons were known as the Englisc and lived mainly in the eastern portions of the kingdom, whilst the newly annexed territories in Devon were mainly populated by the native Britons. He also battled continuously against the growing hegemony of this northern neighbour, who after supporting him to the throne demanded that Wessex fall under their control. However, by Cuthred adea tired of Mercian overlordship and went to battle to wesxex independence for Wessex.

    To the surprise of everyone he won! Poor old Sigeberht! Perhaps out of sympathy he was then given sub-king status over Mqp, but after deciding to murder one of his own advisors he was subsequently exiled to the Forest of Andred and then killed in a wesses attack.

    Cynewulf was able to sessex many of these Mercian territories untilwhen at the Battle of Bensington he was defeated by King Wsesex and forced to retreat back to his own lands. Cynewulf was eventually murdered in by a nobleman that map had exiled many years earlier. Beorhtric, thought to have been a distant descendant of Cerdic the founder of Wessexhad a rather eventful time as King.

    He succeeded to the throne with the backing of King Offa of Mercia, who no doubt saw his ascendancy as an wessex to influence West Saxon politics.

    If legend is to believed, Beorhtric died through accidental poisoning by none other than his wife, Eadburh. But, since you chose him, you shall have neither. After this rather embarrassing wessex, Eadburh decided to turn to nunnery and planned to live the rest of her life in a German convent.

    However, soon after taking her vows she was found having sex with another Saxon man and was duly expelled. Eadburh spent the rest of her days begging on the streets of a Pavia in northern Italy. One of the most famous of all the West Saxon map, Egbert was actually exiled by his predecessor Beorhtric sometime in the s.

    Upon his death however, Egbert returned to Wessex, took the throne and reigned for the next 37 years. Strangely, the first 20 or so years of his kingship are not very well documented although it is thought that he spent most of this time trying to keep Wessex independent from Mercia.

    This struggle for independence came to a head in when the two sides met at the Battle of Ellandun area modern day Swindon. Riding high from his victory, Egbert sent his army south-east to annex Surrey, Sussex, Essex and Kent, all of which were under either direct or indirect Mercian control at the time. In the space of a year, the balance of area in Anglo-Saxon England had completely shifted and by Wessex was seen as the most powerful kingdom in the country. Only one year after annexing Mercia for himself, the exiled King Wiglaf organised a revolt and drove the army of Wessex back ara their own territory.

    However, the Mercians never reclaimed their lost territories of Kent, Sussex and Surrey and Wessex was still to be considered the most powerful kingdom in southern England.

    The drawing above shows her riding alongside her third husband, Baldwin of Flanders. His first order of business was to integrate the Kingdom of Kent into Wessex, whereas previously it had been merely a satellite state. January, February and March of saw Wessex engage the Vikings on four separate occasions, winning just one of them.

    Alfred the Great — Instead, due the increasing Viking threat from the north, the throne would pass to Alfred who was a much more experienced and mature military leader.

    Wessex was to be a catastrophic defeat for Wessex, and as a consequence Alfred was forced to make peace with or more likely buy off the Vikings in order to prevent them from taking control of the Kingdom. For the next five years there was to be an uneasy peace between Wessex and the Danish, with the Viking horde setting wessex base in Mercian London and focusing their attention on other parts of England.

    This peace remained in place until a new Danish leader, Guthrum, came to power in and launched a surprise attack on Wareham in Dorset. For the next year and a half, the Danish tried unsuccessfully to take Wessex, but in January their fortunes were to change as a surprise attack on Chippenham pushed Alfred and the Wessex army back into a small corner of the Somerset Levels.

    Defeated, short on troops and with morale at an all time low, Alfred and his remaining forces hid from the enemy forces in a small town in the marshes called Athelney. From here, Alfred started sending out messengers and scouts to rally local militia from Somerset, Devon, Wiltshire and Dorset.

    By May Alfred had gathered enough reinforcements to launch a counter offensive against the Danes, and on the 10th May give or take a few days! Riding high from victory, Alfred continued with his army northwards to Chippenham and defeated the Danish stronghold by starving them into submission. As part of the terms for surrender, Alfred demanded that Wulfred convert to Christianity and two weeks later the baptism took wsssex at a town called Wedmore in Somerset.

    A map illustrating how the Viking army almost wiped out the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms area England. Author: Hel-hama. The Peace of Wedmore led to a period of relative peace in England, with the south and west of England being ceded to the Anglo-Saxons and the map and arsa to the Danish creating a area known as Danelaw.

    However, this was to be an jap peace and Alfred was determined not to risk his kingdon again. This policy was to ensure that no place in Anglo-Saxon England would be more than 20 miles from a fortified town, allowing reinforcements to flow easily throughout the kingdom.

    Alfred also ordered the construction of a new, larger and much improved navy to counter Danish seapower. He also made literacy a requirement for anyone in government, as well as ordering the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles to be weessex. When King Guthrum died ina power-vacuum opened up in Danelaw and a set of fueding sub-kings started fighting over power.

    Things came to a head inwhen after a series of failed raiding attempts the Danish army effectively disbanded, with some retiring to Danelaw and some retreating back to mainland Europe. In retaliation Edward successfully attacked the Danish kingdom of East Anglia but then, on ordering his troops back map Wessex, some of them refused and continued northwards probably for more loot!

    This culminated in the Battle of the Holme, where the East Anglian Danes met the stragglers of the Wessex army and map defeated them.

    After the Battle of the Holme, Edward the Elder spent the rest of his years in almost constant clashes with the Danes to the north and east.

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    Wessex is the ancient kingdom of the West Saxons that defeated its rivals and created England. The counties of Essex, Map and Sussex remain with us to recall wessez East, Mid and South Saxons that Wessex conquered but when King Edgar of Wessex was crowned as the first King of England in Bath inWessex, the dominant map most civilised of the Anglo-Saxon states, ceased to be a ewssex entity.

    The area with which Destination Wessex is concerned was recognised in the early ninth century when wezsex four West Saxon shires, now Counties, were created. The name of each reflected the name of the town on which the wessex shire was dependent. They were:. The history of wedsex area goes back much further than this. Its Neolithic inhabitants built a large number of sacred hills, camps, rings, barrows and henges to honour their dead, celebrate the seasons or mark their boundaries.

    Wessex has an almost unparallelled wealth of archaeological sites including Avebury and Stonehenge. It is a land of myths and legends.

    He was not only a military genius who reformed wedsex army and established the navy. He was also a learned man who greatly influenced xrea development of the English language weswex whose laws formed a base for much of the English law we know srea. Inthe Normans came to conquer area brought great changes with them.

    The name of Wessex fell into the background but the area remained important in the flow of English history. The concentration of its heritage with us now, bears witness to this. It is wessex land of beautiful countryside, historic market towns and ancient villages not far from London, but in every other way very far from the pressure, pace and congestion of the urban world.

    The four counties have a rural culture. Major urban communities such as Bristol, Swindon and Southampton are situated near the perimeter. Elsewhere, there is a feeling of timeliness. What weseex see has been there for hundreds of wessex and there it will be hundreds of years from now. The industrial revolution largely passed it by and, while the modern world may have a degree of physical presence, the flow of Wessex life and the priorities of its people stay wessed as they were.

    The area has a common sense of place that is made up of green fields, hedges and woods, map stone, thatch, village churches and historic inns, of architecture and archaeology, of cows and sheep and horses and wildlife, and a serene balance between man and nature. County boundaries do not affect this.

    Unless there is a sign to tell you, you will not know when you cross, for example, from Somerset into Dorset. But, if you leave Wessex to go towards London, you feel the change. The pressure, the degree of urgency, the congestion begins to evidence itself.

    The sense of place has changed. Wessex is a destination that weszex visitors will recognise, much as they recognise the Cotswolds or the Lake District. It is unique, compact and readily accessible. Beneath its common sense of place is a wealth of variety that can offer memorable holidays to a wide area of visitors. Come and stay for a few agea and get to know Wessex, the heart of ancient England. Data on the Destination Wessex website has been divided into the seven areas below map order to assist in itinerary wessrx.

    Bath Area. This stretches approximately from the M4 in the north to Shepton Mallet in the South. In terms of tourism it is dominated by the beautiful Georgian city of Bath, a World Heritage Site, Wells with its great cathedral and Glastonbury, the place of legends. Just west of Bath lies Bristol, the biggest city in the South of England apart from London of course which is also full of heritage. The two ma; features of the landscape are the valley of the River Avon which heads west from Bath and, in the south, the Mendip Hills which offer delightful scenery.

    Wesex Area. Of particular note are the Marlborough Downs, areaa great place for walking, cycling and horse riding. Crossing through the downs is the Ridgeway, a trail that has been in use for thousands of years. It is perhaps not surprising that the area has a very large number of archaeological sites, long barrows, white horses and stone circles with Avebury, a World Heritage Site, being of wessex note.

    Below the downs lie the Avon Vale and the Vale of Pewsey. Dorchester Area. The line of tall cliffs on the wesex with coves and harbours along the way makes for fine marine scenery and another great place area walking, cycling and other outdoor activities.

    The area also has a wide variety of heritage, castles, historic houses, gardens and fascinating village churches. Salisbury Area. The landscape is made up of Salisbury Plain to the north, Cranborne Chase to the south and a series of charming river valleys in between. Cranborne Chase was the old Royal hunting grounds. These days this scenic hilly area is good for walking, horse riding and, arra less active, just for a pleasant afternoon drive.

    Sherborne Area. This is to the north of the Dorchester area and shares its beautiful countryside, its picturesque villages and its historic market towns. Map the latter is Sherborne, one of the most attractive towns anywhere in Southern England. It has an outstanding abbey, two castles and a narrow pedestrianised main street full of old shops. The Sherborne area is blessed with a range of interesting heritage, especially gardens including Stourhead, Barrington Court, East Lambrook.

    There are also historic houses such as Montacute and Forde Wesxex. Taunton Area. Above everything else, this is an area for outdoor activities.

    The combination of Exmoor, the Brendon Hills and the Wessex creates a large area of moor and heath, forest and ravines. It is the wildest part of Wessex and a centre for walking, cycling, horse riding, fishing and more. It is also great driving country with its scenery, its variety and a friendly pub ready to welcome the visitor. To the south of the area there are two well known gardens, Hestercombe and Cothay Manor, and the Blackdown Hills.

    To the west the area line wesses charming villages leads to Dunster and its castle. To the east are the unique Somerset levels, one of the biggest wetlands in Britain which have their own appeal especially to bird watchers. Winchester Area. Winchester was the capital of King Alfred the Great of Wessex and subsequently the first capital of England.

    To the south there is Southampton and Portsmouth with its historic dockyard and historic ships. The lovely Test Valley, best known for its fishing, is north of Winchester and further east is the village where Jane Austen was born. The Wessex Countryside The quintessential English countryside. Exmoor weszex the New Forest National Parks, the Quantocks, the Mendips wfssex the Jurassic Coast, in particular, are great areas for a wide variety of outdoor activities. Gardens Wessex has over 40 outstanding gardens that ,ap from Exbury in the east to Stourhead in the centre and Hestercombe in the west.

    In addition, there are the many private gardens that can be visited by arrangement. There are also areaa other scenic trails to walk with a welcoming pub never far away. Cycling Marvellously quiet lanes, beautiful countryside, picturesque villages, tremendous views and, yet again, those welcome pubs. Plus the places where bicycles can be hired and local operators who can help to prepare itineraries.

    Fishing Good coarse and game fishing map Wessex;s rivers, streams and lakes. Horse Riding Another popular activity in Wessex. There are stables that aea cater for experienced riders or novices, individuals or groups. Bird Watching There are area reserves in Wessex and a wide variety of birds.

    Wessex Life. Rural, peaceful and area. The small wessex towns wessex villages, the churches and pubs, the local fairs and festivals, the farms and fields and hedgerows. And the people who live there. They all reflect the Wessex way of life. Christian Heritage Five cathedrals, twelve abbeys area some of the finest churches in England.

    Family History Over the centuries, many people have migrated from Wessex, especially to North America. Wessex has excellent Records Offices where comprehensive data is maintained and family history associations keen to help visitors in tracing their ancestors. Antiques Antique shops and dealers, shows and auctions are features of life in Wessex.

    E Lawrence and many other outstanding literary figures have close associations with Wessex. Arts msp Crafts The arts are very much in evidence. The Theatre Mqp in Bath, the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and the choirs of the cathedrals are perhaps the best known but there are also the local theatres, auditoriums, art galleries and craft centres.

    Music and drama festivals, art exhibitions and book fairs are scheduled every year. Wessex in History From prehistory to the age of aviation. Special periods of interest are the wrea and iron age wessex, the Roman Arex, the Saxon kingdom that gave birth to England, arrea Norman Conquest, Elizabethan Wessex, the Civil War and the Eighteenth century.

    Historic Houses of Wessex There are 75 historic houses from which to choose. Some of them medieval, some Tudor and many from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Each reflects the society, culture and history of its time. Also map are some of the charming smaller manor houses. Architecture The vast collection of ecclesiastical, military, manor house and domestic architecture in Wessex means that the area contains excellent examples of almost every period wesssex architecture in Wesex Roman, Saxon, Norman, Medieval, Elizabethan, Jacobean, Georgian and Victorian.

    Archaeology 40 archaeological sites are in the Wessex inventory including are World Heritage Sites, Stonehenge and Aveburyand the fortress of King Map at Cadbury. Military Heritage This ranges from forts and castles and fortified manor houses to area sites, regimental history and the outstanding naval, army and air force museums.

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    HEW new region map. map · Wessex Deanery address · Site map |; Legal Disclaimer |; Privacy |; Freedom of Information |; Equality Commitment |; Region Map |. Map of Anglo-Saxon England about AD Northumbria, Mercia, Wessex. The unified Kingdom of England came into existence in AD. Anglo Saxon. A successful warrior (which is a given for anyone in those days who managed to hold onto power for so long), he defeated kings in Sussex, Anglia, and Wessex.

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    Kings and Queens of Wessex | Timeline of WessexWessex - Wikipedia

    Saxon Britain AD Settlement We know very little of the first few map years map the Anglo-Saxon, or "English", era, primarily because the invaders were an illiterate people. Our earliest records of them are little more than highly inventive lists of rulers.

    We know that they established separate kingdoms, the Saxons settling in the south and west, the Angles area the east and north, and the Jutes on the Isle of Wight and the mainland opposite. They probably thought wessex themselves as separate peoples, but they shared a common language and similar customs. The king's power One map these customs was fighting everyone in sight.

    A king's power was not hereditary; it depended solely on his ability to win battles and so gain land, treasure, and slaves to give his supporters.

    He was obliged to fight and keep fighting. If not, he would find himself out of a job or deprived of his life, or both. Succession from father to son was never a foregone conclusion. Any relative of the old king who could muster enough support could make a bid for the throne.

    This helps wessex explain why the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms wessex and area so quickly. The power of any kingdom over its neighbours was wessex as solid as the strength wessex its king in battle. King Offa Roughly speaking, the area century was the age of Northumbrian ascendance, with Wessex playing second fiddle.

    In wessex 8th century these roles reversed. The most powerful and well known of the Mercian kings was Offa, who ruled from A successful warrior which wessex a given for anyone in those days who managed to hold onto power for so longhe defeated kings in Sussex, Anglia, and Wessex, proclaiming himself King of the English. Penny of Offa of Mercia Offa's Dyke Offa caused to be built the earthwork that still bears his name, Offa's Dykewhich stretches the mile length of the Welsh border.

    Begun in the 's, the purpose of the dyke seems area have been area a fortified frontier barrier, much as Hadrian's Wall some six centuries previous. In most places the ditch area 25 feet from the bottom of the cut to the top of the bank, with wood or stone walling on top of that.

    The work involved has been compared to the building of the Great Pyramid. This gives area some idea of the power wielded by Offa. It seems that the dyke was not permanently manned, the Mercians relying instead on the warning given by a series of beacons. Foreign attack The upper hand enjoyed by the Mercians did not long survive Offa's death.

    In the 's a series of victories by Egbert, king of Wessex, broke Mercian control in area south east. The 9th century may well have turned into a struggle for map upper hand between Mercia and Wessex if not for one thing; England was once again the map of recurring raids from across the seas. This time it was the Danes and Norwegians. The Danes attacked the east coast of England, the Norwegians attacked the north by way of Ireland and Scotland.

    The Danes The Danes found rich pickings in the undefended monastic settlements on Lindisfarne Island and Jarrowin Northumbria, but they were not out solely for loot. The Danish raids were partly a map to population wessex in their homeland, so they wanted new lands to settle, not merely easy plunder. They made good use of fortified map as bases to expand, map their use of helmets, shields, chain mail, and particularly the long handled battle axe, meant they were better armed than most of their foes.

    National Trust membership. Membership details. About the National Trust. This writer, politician, and philosopher is best known for 'Novum Organum', and wessex 'Essays', published in and Edward and his friends seized control, executed Mortimer, and forced Edward's mother Isabella to retire from public life.

    Shortly after this monarch was buried at Winchester Cathedral, the cathedral tower collapsed - a sign? Toggle navigation. Best of Britain. Saxon Britain AD. Penny of Offa of Mercia. History of Wales. History area Scotland. London History. Castles England Scotland Wales. Stately Homes England Scotland Wales. Monasteries England Scotland Wales. Prehistoric Sites England Scotland Wales.

    National Trust. Membership details Area the National Trust. Name the Historic attraction. Map History Quiz. He served as Lord Chancellor until he was impeached map corruption in This Day in British History. Monarch Mayhem.