King Alfred the Great - it is your turn, as archeologists search for his grave ..

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posted on Feb, 7 2013 @ 10:16 PM
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Now they want to dig up King alfred the Great. Apparently they think he is in an unmarked grave in Winchester In a parish church.

We really know how to treat our kings in this country !!

The Daily Telegraph: 05/02/2013: www.telegraph.co.uk...

Below quotes from: Huffington Post 05/02/13. Felicity Morse:

www.huffingtonpost.co.uk...




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


This should be interesting. He was the only King to have ' Great' in the prefix to his name.

He ruled in a time of mist, magic and legend - I would love to go back to that time for a day.

He was the King of the West Saxons - 871 - 899, I cannot even imagine that far back. Apparently he fought the Vikings and the Danes. His father was King Ethelwulf and his brothers who were kings before him were Ethelbald, Ethelbert and Ethelred.

I wonder where they are buried ?

These are some interesting legends about him :



King Alfred lived from 849 to 899AD and was born in Wantage. He died in Winchester, the then capital city.

Quotes from: The Oxford Times: 07/02/13 www.oxfordtimes.co.uk...


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




He is a very mysterious King - and he is also famous for allegedly burning the cakes:

The story goes that Alfred was down on his luck and so he travelled, anonymously, he sought lodgings in a poor womans hut, he was then asked to watch the cakes cooking on the fire, He then got a good old scolding from her when he let the cakes burn, as he let his mind wander, he failed to notice.
.



edit on 7-2-2013 by HelenConway because: (no reason given)




posted on Feb, 8 2013 @ 05:18 AM
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news.sky.com...


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.




posted on Feb, 8 2013 @ 06:15 AM
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This should be an interesting subject and history lesson for us all. S&F, Good find! I didn't realize only one King of England had "the Great" attached to his name.

For fans of King's being dug up (there is talk in the States of digging up Dr. Martin Luther King, just to keep up with the digs in England)(ok, not really), there are two good threads on the burial, discovery, history, and controversies of King Richard III. But save them until reading this one.

The two Richard threads, the second one by the OP, are at:

www.abovetopsecret.com...

www.abovetopsecret.com...


And for easy reference, here is Alfred the Great's page on wikipedia

en.wikipedia.org...



edit on 8-2-2013 by Aleister because: (no reason given)
edit on 8-2-2013 by Aleister because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 8 2013 @ 06:17 AM
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reply to post by Aleister
 


Thanks Aleistar - I think so too, I guess the press will start to get interested when hey find him.
They are looking for Harold too apparently.



posted on Feb, 8 2013 @ 06:32 AM
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According to the wikipedia page Alfred's body may have been lost when a prison was built on the site, the forgotten cemetery was dug up, and bones and whatever else was there were tossed about. People seemed to be going through the place looking for valuables buried with the bodies (one of my hobbies, by the way). Would it be even possible to locate the scattered remains, let alone identify them as the OP mentioned.

EDIT: Even though the cache of bones they will look at contains only five skulls, and thus, as the linked article says, it should be easy to determine ages of the deceased, and then to carbon date to see if the most likely candidate is from the correct time period, if the cemetery itself was dug up and strewn about it would be pure luck that the correct bones were gathered and placed into the monestary. I do hope this ends in success though, and will be crossing my fingers that yet another great (pun intended) find will shortly emerge.

One good thing this news does is focus us once again on a great period of English history. Alfred, who fended off the Vikings, needs a revival. Is there a Alfred the Great Society as there is a Richard III Society?
edit on 8-2-2013 by Aleister because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 8 2013 @ 06:35 AM
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reply to post by Aleister
 


I do not know. I don't even know much about him actually but he is interesting, just for the fact that he was in a time when there was such mystery and magic to the myths of that time.

I know along time after Arthur but same with his era. they have been searching for him for years,



posted on Feb, 8 2013 @ 06:43 AM
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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.



posted on Feb, 8 2013 @ 06:43 AM
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reply to post by HelenConway
 


Safer topic for us here Helen, thanks for posting.


Alfred is a weird one for me. I feel i should be more "bothered" (for want of a better word) about Alfred but he has always been one of those "meh, whatever" kings for me.

He rarely fought (left it to others), was sickly and completely dominated by the Church. The only truly useful thing he did (from what i have read but i could be forgetting all sorts!) was to have Burghs constructed all over Wessex. This prevented the Vikings from conquering Wessex as they simply couldn't afford to risk men in assaulting fortified towns. People often overlook the fact this was an era where a band of 300 Warriors was a large war band! The reality is that this is the real decision that prevented complete Viking domination.

During these years Viking armies never comprised more than 3 to 4 thousand men, all of whom were transported by long ship. A chieftain would not commit his crew to a battle unless they heavily outnumbered the enemy as any losses would have a serious impact on their ability to get their ships back to sea (couldn't afford to lose crewmen).

I am not really sure what Alfred ever did that deserved the description "Great". That said though, he was the King at the time and the Vikings never took his kingdom completely. And he was the one who envisaged England.



posted on Feb, 8 2013 @ 06:58 AM
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Good thread.

This may not be as daft as it sounds.
Alfred's granddaughter Eadgyth who married the Holy Roman Emperor, was buried at Magdeburg Cathedral in Germany and fragments of her body have just been returned to England - so we have a DNA reference right there.

www.guardian.co.uk...

In Winchester Cathedral, there are many caskets containing the ( supposed ) remains of some very early Saxon kings - I say supposed because during the reformation, many of these were emptied out into the street (!).
These were then gathered up and returned to their caskets, but whose bones in what casket goodness only knows.

Should any of you history buffs get the chance to visit the cathedral then you should take it - well worth your time.
For those of you who cannot , link here winchester-cathedral.org.uk...



posted on Feb, 8 2013 @ 07:00 AM
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reply to post by Flavian
 


Thanks for sharing your knowledge again Flavian, you are clearly very good with your history.

Yes I would love to know more about him too - I think as they search for and find his bones we will hear more in the press.

It took 4 years to organise the Richard dig etc.

What is interesting to me is that it is that Tudor King Henry the 8th [ again ] and Thomas Cromwell who disturbed his burial ground during their rape and pillage of the monastries. Which is why apparently his grave became lost.



posted on Feb, 8 2013 @ 07:02 AM
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reply to post by ironorchid
 


thanks for those links I will check them out.

winchester cathedral is amazing - but is that the 'real' round table?



posted on Feb, 8 2013 @ 07:04 AM
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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.


maybe ATS should set one up - there is considerable knowledge from the many posters on the history/ ancient threads. In fact the knowledge from some posters on ATS is breath taking.



posted on Feb, 8 2013 @ 07:11 AM
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reply to post by HelenConway
 


No, but it is very ancient non the less and worth a look.

www3.hants.gov.uk...



posted on Feb, 8 2013 @ 07:17 AM
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If anyone wants to know more about the period, I recommend the Bernard Cornwell series of books - Saxon Tales
ghsdawgs.com...

His books are very well researched and this particular set includes Alfred the Great.



posted on Feb, 8 2013 @ 07:33 AM
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Originally posted by ironorchid
If anyone wants to know more about the period, I recommend the Bernard Cornwell series of books - Saxon Tales
ghsdawgs.com...

His books are very well researched and this particular set includes Alfred the Great.
And ripping good yarns, to boot!! I've been thinking back to them as I follow this thread.



posted on Feb, 8 2013 @ 07:37 AM
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www.berkshirehistory.com...




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


That is amazing



posted on Feb, 8 2013 @ 07:37 AM
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I think they might be reaching a bit far in this endeavour, it's double the time in history that Richard was..

Good luck to them, however....

If they do find this one though, I wonder who would be next?


Arthur?



posted on Feb, 8 2013 @ 07:42 AM
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Below quote from wiltshire white horses.co.uk
wiltshirewhitehorses.org.uk...


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


Oh I like the legends of the white horse - it seems it was earlier then Alfred though.



posted on Feb, 8 2013 @ 07:43 AM
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reply to post by stumason
 


Hi Stu, thank you for contributing. Harold apparently according to the Daily Mail.



posted on Feb, 8 2013 @ 07:43 AM
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reply to post by HelenConway
 


Thanks Helen but i have to say i did teach history in a previous working life! (not sure if that counts as teaching or not!) Even so, some posters have much better knowledge than me.

Sorry for going off topic but i feel the need to defend Henry VIII. He was truly popular at the time so he cannot have been bad can he? And by popular, i mean seriously popular - the sort of rating approvals that politicians today could only dream about getting. He undertook the largest building programme in Britain in history (up to that point of time) and the lot of his subjects improved considerably during his reign. Life expectancy started to rise for the common man (although still rubbish by todays standards). It goes on and on.

And yet all we seem to remember is that he had 6 wives, set up the state religion so he could get a divorce and also for the Dissolution of the Monasteries. In many ways, history has screwed him nearly as badly as it did to Richard III.





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