And they burned Teignton, and also many other goodly towns that we cannot name; and then peace was there concluded with them. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website. They launch a counter-attack, but the Danes kill both Osberht and Ælla and set up a puppet king on the Northumbrian throne. Despite suffering from a chronic illness believed to have been Crohn’s Disease, Alfred fought on the front line during this early stage of his life. The Wessex forces were now retreating back into friendly territory under the command of Alfred. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. In 1066 following the Battle of Hastings, King Harold’s widow, who was staying at Winchester, surrendered the town to the invading Normans. possession of the field of battle. The people of Hampshire could not withstand the onslaught though and the ‘peace’ they settled with them would have been a monetary one, to ensure no further attacks. While Charles raises funds from his hapless subjects to pay for his new defenders, the Somme Vikings take the summer off to go raiding across the Channel. King Alfred the Great, May He Finally Rest. Here, translated from the chronicle, is the story of that invasion of Wessex in AD 1001 This year there was great commotion in England in consequence of an invasion by the Danes, who spread terror anddevastation wheresoever they went, plundering and burning and desolating the country with such rapidity, that they advanced in one march as far as the town of Alton; where the people of Hampshire came against them, and fought with them. Danes Attack Wessex Towns AD 1001. Anglo Saxon Rood Breamore. Header image credit: Alfred the Great’s statue at Winchester. Credit: Odejea / Commons.eval(ez_write_tag([[580,400],'historyhit_com-box-4','ezslot_11',160,'0','0'])); History Hit brings you the stories that shaped the world through our award winning podcast network and an online history channel. The Coronations of Henry VI: How Did Two Coronations For One Boy Lead to Civil War? A new online only channel for history lovers. © 2019 Hampshire History. Before Ashdown, Ethelred’s forces had already fought the Danes at Reading, but had been beaten back by the Viking assault. Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. The Last Prince of Wales: The Death of Llywelyn ap Gruffudd. Wessex, Mercia, and East Anglia were now confirmed as Saxon kingdoms, and there was faith on both sides that the peace would hold. The Sack of Winchester was the final event of the campaign to Avenge Ragnar Lothbrok.It took place in the city of Winchester, the capital of Wessex. Alfred was not the archetypal burly and bearded Saxon warrior, but a man of keen intelligence who won battles through cunning rather than brute force. The Rollright Stones: One of the Greatest Neolithic Sites in Britain, The Most Haunted Battlefield in English History: The “Visions of Horror” at Edgehill. This website uses cookies to improve your experience while you navigate through the website. The Sack of Winchester occurred in 911 AD when the Dyflin Viking army of Sihtric Caech launched a surprise attack on the West Saxon capital of Winchester and sacked and captured the city. But opting out of some of these cookies may have an effect on your browsing experience. They had met with no concerted resistance, and though Ethelred’s kingdom was the richest of the English dominions, its success against the invaders was certainly not guaranteed. The Danes quite possibly used the river valleys of the Meon, Test and Hamble to move swiftly through the southern lands and to escape back to their boats if they needed to. Old Minster Winchester. The Anglo Saxon Chronicle records the burning of Wessex towns and mentions specifically the town of Alton, where they came up against a force of Hampshire warriors and Waltham, now Bishops Waltham, one of the towns routed by an invading force of Danes. Alfred ignored his brother’s orders however, and launched an audacious attack down the hill against the enemy. The next morning they burned the town of Waltham, and many other small towns; soon after which the people treated with them, and they made peace. 12 Significant Ancient Greek and Roman Historians. His troops moved into the Berkshire hills, where he hurriedly assembled some of the local levies to fight in a desperate attempt to halt the Danes.eval(ez_write_tag([[336,280],'historyhit_com-medrectangle-4','ezslot_10',143,'0','0'])); Ethelred joined the force, and divided the army into two halves, one of which he would command. What Animals Have Been Taken into the Ranks of the Household Cavalry? King Sigebert – The Usurper. Danish leader Bagsecg lay dead, and for the first time it had been proved that the Danish advance could be halted. Seeing his brother join battle, Ethelred ordered his forces to engage, and after a bitterly contested melee the Saxons were victorious. How Did Broadway Tower Become the Holiday Home of William Morris and the Pre-Raphaelites. You also have the option to opt-out of these cookies. The Danes had been raiding England’s coasts for decades, but in 866 their attacks reached a new and more dangerous phase when they seized the northern city of York. Credit: Odejea / Commons. Standing Stone of Gotland Depicting Viking Raids. A.D. 1001. In an all-or-nothing attack, using smoke from bags of shit and limestone to make the Danish soldiers gag and leave them incapable of defending the fortress, the combined armies of Mercia and Wessex manage to breach the walls. Vikings Move Against Wessex. How Did The White Ship Disaster End a Dynasty? The Danes use the civil turmoil as an opportunity to capture York, which they sack and burn. And the next morning they burned the village of Pin-hoo, and of Clist, and also many goodly towns that we cannot name. Of the Danes there was slain a much greater number, though they remained in possession of the field of battle. Alfred may be more famous in Britain for burning cakes than saving the country from the Danes, but few historians dispute his position as the only English king to be awarded the epithet of “Great.”eval(ez_write_tag([[250,250],'historyhit_com-box-3','ezslot_8',142,'0','0'])); Alfred’s most famous victory came at Ethandun in 878, but the Battle of Ashdown, fought seven years earlier on 8 January 871 when Alfred was a 21-year old prince, was equally significant in stopping the momentum of the invading Danes. By the time the Viking armies reached the borders of Wessex their advance seemed unstoppable. Out of these cookies, the cookies that are categorized as necessary are stored on your browser as they are essential for the working of basic functionalities of the website. Finding the Lost Battlefield of Brunanburh, Conquest: From Hereward the Wake to Brexit. Then they returned eastward again, till they came to the Isle of Wight. However, when the Danes arrived the King’s insistence on leading the army in prayer might have caused a dangerous delay. Why Was the Battle of Edgehill Such an Important Event in the Civil War? There was slain Ethelwerd, high-steward of the king, and Leofric of Whitchurch, and Leofwin, high-steward of the king, and Wulfhere, a bishop’s thane, and Godwin of Worthy, son of Bishop Elfsy; and of all the men who were engaged with them eighty-one. The Murder of Thomas Becket: Did England’s Famous Martyred Archbishop of Canterbury Plan For His Death? And they proceeded thence towards Exmouth, so that they marched at once till they came to Pin-hoo; where Cole, high- steward of the king, and Edsy, reve of the king, came against them with the army that they could collect. These cookies do not store any personal information. Hampshire History is a voluntary project and is entirely self-funded by the founders who share their interest and share their discoveries about the history of this historic county as time and life permits. All Rights Reserved. It was ruled by King Ethelred I, though the man tasked with defeating the oncoming Danish onslaught was the king’s pious and studious younger brother Alfred. Shortly after this William the Conqueror ordered the rebuilding of the Saxon royal palace and the construction of a new castle to the west of the town. Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. But giving up on Winchester was not an option since it was the heart of the Wessex empire. It is an interesting thought that the spread of Christianity throughout the British Isles may well have the spark that drew the Vikings to these shores to raid and plunder. It seems likely that these are the same raiders who sack Winchester in Wessex before making northwards to the Berkshire Downs, plundering and burning as they go.

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