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King Alfred the Great lay peacefully with his family for more than 500 years until the tumultuous rule of Henry VIII witnessed the dissolution of the monastries.
St Barthomew's church (located on King Alfred's place, no less) is now believed to own the land where the great monarch lies, but even if permission is granted to exhume the bones, there are likely to be complications identifying the skeleton.
However Alfred died more than a thousand years ago. Katie Tucker, an archaeologist from Winchester University told The Times "the problem is where would we get a comparative sample from? It's a hell of a lot further to go back to trace a living descendentt
The Blowing Stone, a perforated sarsen stone in Kingston Lisle, near Uffington, is reputedly how King Alfred summoned his Saxon troops, in readiness for the nearby Battle of Ashdown against the Vikings.
Also, according to legend, a person who is capable of making the blowing stone sound a note that is audible at the White Horse will be a future King of England
After the discovery of Richard III's remains, archaeologists trying to find Alfred the Great have applied to exhume and study bones in an unmarked grave that may be those of the Saxon king.
The application to dig at St Bartholomew Church in Winchester, Hampshire, comes after a possible earlier burial of him under the nearby ruined Hyde Abbey was dug up in the 19th century.
Dr Katie Tucker from the University of Winchester said it was not known if the bones of the king were disturbed when Hyde Abbey was dissolved by Henry VIII in the 1530s.
Since then there have been several digs at the site, all suggesting they have found the bones, with some on display in Winchester in the 19th century before they were buried in the unmarked grave at the church.
Originally posted by Aleister
reply to post by HelenConway
Bumping around the web it looks like the Alfred the Great Society is a right wing outfit having nothing to do with Alfred other than his name. I'll wander off and not monoplolize this space, and later in the day the Americans will turn their lonely eyes to this thread to learn and be enlightened to another of England's great Kings.
And ripping good yarns, to boot!! I've been thinking back to them as I follow this thread.
Originally posted by ironorchid
If anyone wants to know more about the period, I recommend the Bernard Cornwell series of books - Saxon Tales
His books are very well researched and this particular set includes Alfred the Great.
The Blowing Stone is a 3ft tall hunk of sarsen, pierced with a number of holes, from one of which issues a Y-shaped channel within. It is first recorded on Roque’s map of 1761. If you are able to close the hole completely with your mouth and blow, it will resonate something like a calf's bellow across the Downs. It can apparently be heard as far away as Faringdon Church (six miles distant). Legend says it once stood high up on Kingstone Down and was used by King Alfred the Great to call the local militia to fight at the Battle of Ashdown - said to have taken place at nearby Roughthorn Farm, though it probably occurred in either Compton/East Ilsley or Aldworth/Aston
Uffington horse and foal eating and drinking
The Uffington white horse is said to be a mare, and to have her invisible foal on the hill beside her, and at night the horse and foal come down to eat at the slope below known as the Manger, and to drink at nearby Woolstone Wells, which latter were formed from a hoofprint from the horse.
As different as chalk and cheese
The expression "as different as chalk and cheese" is believed to refer to the land divided by Hackpen Hill, on which the Hackpen horse is cut. The hill forms the boundary between the high chalk downs to the south of it and the clay cattle country to the north, where cheese is a product of the milk from the cattle. The two areas are as different as chalk and cheese.
Uffington horse as a wish fulfiller
It is said that anyone who stands on the eye of the Uffington horse and turns around three times clockwise with their eyes closed whilst making a wish will have that wish come true. Please don't try it, as visitors are now requested not to walk on the horse because of the damage that was being caused to it.
Predicting a future husband
There was a belief that (real) white horses could predict the future husband of an unmarried girl. The girl would count the number of white horses she saw until she reached one hundred. Then the first man she shook hands with after that would one day become her husband