The Anglo-Saxon and Danish Kings of England and their Consorts 802-1066

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Alfred the Great, King of Wessex (b. 849 - 899 AD)

Another monarch's grave discovered?

Quest for kings: After Richard III, will England's King Alfred be ID'd? - NBC

Quest for kings: After Richard III, will England's King Alfred be ID'd?

LONDON — Only months after archaeologists discovered the missing body of Richard III, researchers are about to test human remains to see if they are those of another king, Alfred the Great, a ninth-century monarch.
Officials have given the go-ahead to analyze bones found in an unmarked grave at a church in Winchester, southwest England, the capital of Alfred's kingdom, to determine if they are those of one of the best-known figures from early English history.
Alfred ruled the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Wessex, an area which covered much of southern England, from 871 until 899 and was famed for military victories against the Vikings who had invaded much of the north of the country.
The remains were exhumed in March but church permission, known as a faculty, has only now been given to local community group Hyde900, which has been researching Alfred's final resting place, to carry out the tests.
"The Faculty grants permission to carry out scientific investigations on human remains, recovered from St Bartholomew's Church earlier this year, to ascertain whether or not they belong to King Alfred," the Diocese of Winchester said in a statement.
"The remains will stay in the care of the Church and the Consistory Court until they are reinterred."
Hyde900 declined to give any details of what tests would be carried out to confirm if the bones were indeed those of Alfred, citing a confidentiality agreement, and said it would be a number of months before any results would be available.
"We in Hyde900 are delighted that permission has now been given for expert analysis, and we look forward to learning more of the individuals represented by these remains," chairman Steve Marper said in a statement.
British school children know Alfred for a legendary story that, preoccupied with his kingdom's problems following a battle, he burnt some cakes he was supposed to be watching while being sheltered by a peasant woman. Unaware of his identity, the woman scolded him for his laziness.
After his death, his body was moved several times before being laid to rest at Hyde Abbey which fell into disrepair in the 16th century, before it is believed to have ended up in an unmarked grave in St Bartholomew's Church on the same site.
If the remains are those of Alfred, he will be the second monarch whose lost bones have been discovered this year.
In February, a team of archaeologists found the skeleton of Richard III, the last English king to die in battle in 1485, under a car park in the central English city of Leicester.

Copyright 2013 Thomson Reuters.
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Even if we can never identify Alfred looking into the face of a person who lived an breathed a thousand years ago is amazing and I hope a skull is intact for reconstruction.
I find this sort of discovery and research absolutely fascinating; nay, mindblowing! I really envy those of you who live in the UK and have these amazingly old historical buildings in your backyard, so to speak, and historical finds like this. My family has only been in Australia since the middle of the 19th Century at the earliest. All my earlier ancestors' bones lie in English soil (and Irish, and one in Scotland) and my blood feels a pull to the places my forebears lived. I wish I had the opportunity to spend a year or two travelling around the UK gawking with amazement at the mediaeval buildings that still stand: the Gothic and Romanesque churches I learned about in art history classes, and the other physical evidence stretching back to Roman times, and visiting the places members of my family lived and died.
I so agree with you there, Roslyn. I live in a fairly young country where 200 years is considered "ancient," so these discoveries and excavations are enthralling when you take into consideration that residents of the UK are living side by side with history when it is literally at someone's back door or yard. It always seems that it's alive, in some way.

And thank you for the article, Carolyn. Given the amount of centuries that have passed with the difficulty of identifying remains through surviving descendants, the likelihood of positive ID for Alfred seems unlikely. But as your article mentions, it does raise the hope of more royal graves being unearthed and properly verified.
The bones of King Alfred the Great are believed to have been found in a box stored in a museum, and not buried in an unmarked grave as previously thought.

Researchers believe a pelvis bone, which has been in storage at Winchester City Museum, could belong to the king Alfred.

However, there is a chance that the bone could belong to his son, Edward the Elder, instead.

King Alfred the Great's bones discovered inside a MUSEUM: Remains inside box are thought to belong to Anglo-Saxon ruler | Mail Online

And here's another article from The Telegraph, just incase anyone's interested:

The first remains of King Alfred the Great may have been found at last after tests on a pelvic bone unearthed in Winchester revealed it belonged to either the Anglo-Saxon King or his son Edward.
But after a high-profile excavation of an unmarked grave where the Anglo-Saxon King was believed to be buried, the location of the bone was much more mundane - a storage box in the bowels of a local museum.
Archaeologists from the University of Winchester had initially analysed six skeletons excavated from a grave at St Bartholomew's Church, the historic site of Hyde Abbey, last March.

King Alfred the Great bones believed to be in box found in museum - Telegraph

An outstanding programme. No hype just sound investigation of Alfreds resting places. Also a good descriptionof thecontributionhe made to create England.

If you have the opportunity to see it, then I can strongly recommend it.
An outstanding programme. No hype just sound investigation of Alfreds resting places. Also a good descriptionof thecontributionhe made to create England.

If you have the opportunity to see it, then I can strongly recommend it.

Thanks Cepe,yes I saw it & highly enjoyed it,the programme was also very well researched.It seems that there are plans to excavate further on the site where Hyde Abbey once stood,perhaps they might find some more royal bones!
A Viking hoard discovered by an amateur metal detectorist could prompt the re-writing of English history, after experts claimed it shows how Alfred the Great “airbrushed” a rival king from history.

Ceolwulf II of Mercia is barely mentioned in contemporary records and largely forgotten by history, only briefly described in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle as an “unwise King’s thane”.

But as of today, his reputation might be rescued after a haul of coins dug up after more than 1,000 years suggested he in fact had a powerful alliance with Alfred, ruling their kingdoms as equals.

The hoard, made up of 186 coins, seven items of jewellery and 15 ingots, was found by amateur metal detectorist James Mather on his 60th birthday, after he uncovered it in a muddy field.
Read more: Viking hoard discovery reveals little-known king 'airbrushed from history' - Telegraph
:previous: What an interesting and accomplished woman, and a fascinating account of this period in our Anglo-Saxon history.
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