UK & World News
Alfred The Great: Quest To Find King's Bones
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.
German scientists have analysed the skeleton of Alfred's granddaughter in Magdeburg, Germany to try to get DNA but that has proved unsuccessful, Dr Tucker said, so experts will rely on radio carbon dating to get proof.
"If the bones are from around the 10th century then that is proof they are Alfred and his family because Hyde Abbey was not built until the 12th century and they would be no reason for any other bones from the 10th century to be there," she said.
"This is a long shot because unlike with Richard III there is no complete skeleton. We only know they are five skulls and some bones and we also don't know if the bones are monks from the abbey."
The University of Winchester is seeking permission from a diocesan advisory panel of the Church of England which will consult English Heritage and a judge will make a final decision.
The university is hoping that permission will be granted this spring and results could be due in the early summer.
Alfred lived from 849 AD to 899 AD and was born in Wantage, Oxfordshire. He is the only English monarch to be afforded the title The Great.
He was technically King of Wessex but he was referred to as King of the English towards the end of his reign.
He united areas of the country and defeated the Danes in several battles before reforming the country and laying the foundations of a more modern state. He died in his capital Winchester and was buried there.
Legend has it he burnt cakes he was asked to watch over while distracted trying to think how to defeat the invaders and he had to sleep with his horse as a punishment.
what do you think?
More importantly where are the bones of King Arthur? His remains used to reside in Glastonbury Cathedral (they were intered there in the Middle Ages) but were lost during King Henry VIII's reformation. Now there WOULD be a find. . .
Not forgeting Queen Bodicea (Boudicca) of the Iceni tribe. Her grave remains undisturbed somewhere in East Anglia, nearly 2000 years after her death. Though not sure if any bone would still exist - it'd be cool if they found a strand of her flame red hair
King arthers proberly myth or at least modelled on another king.artherbert elthered .obviously there were many kings and queens at this time.so where would you start looking.and even if you found bones there would be no way of proving who he was.we cant even be sure what century he was born in.we stand a better chance of finding boudica
Dont need to search for him. the legend suggests that arthur and his knights would return at england's time of need. So i guess we just wait.....
Historians/Mythologists have speculated that King Arthur's final grave (after 1536) was Glastonbury Tor or 'Avalon'. The Tor used to be surrounded by water, hence the funeral barge needed to ferry his corpse. The same body of water that Excalibur was thrown into. As for King Arthur rising again to help the common people. . . Hurry up Arthur! We need you now!
The whole of the glastonbury area was an island.its a legend that joseph of aremeathia visited the area and a young jesus.this puts the date of the site at around 16 ad.the first mention of the arther legend was written in 1109 by geoffrey of momouthshire.glastonbury abbey was built in 705 ad.they also dont believe arther could have been a saxon.so that leaves the britonss who had many different kings at the time.so they believe if there was a king arther he would have ruled in the400s-- 500s.the dark ages when very little was was written down.hence why so little is known.
For anyone interested in king arther you need to google " the battle of mons badonicus.that should be of interest to you stevie.
I believe there was once a King Arthur, uniter of Briton, Celt and Saxon - but just like Robin Hood I agree its almost impossible to get to the truth because of centuries worth of legend. As for Joseph and Jesus visiting Britain, mmmmm that's just christianity trying to christianize Arthur for themselves. He might have been a Briton or even a Roman
It's debatable if King Arthur was 1 man or a culmination of several wove into 1 story. I myself subscribe to the view he was a former Roman commander of some sort. Much better shot at Alfred The Great i'd say.
Much more importantly where are the bones of our last Saxon king: Harold Godwinson?
Believe he was buried near to where he was killed
In Westminster abbey. First monarch buried there.
oops sorry, thinking of Edward the confessor
Should we not concentrate on finding all the missing failed asylum seekers first?
They can find people buried hundreds of years ago but they've not managed to find poor Keith Bennett's body on saddleworth moor