Wirral Archaeology were pleased to host members of the Battlefield Trust on 18th September to an event to discuss the Battle of Brunanburh. Speakers included Dave Capener author of “Brunanburh and the Routes to Dingesmere” Chas Jones author of “Finding Fulford- The Search for the First Battle of 1066” Stephen Harding author of “Ingimunds Saga – Viking Wirral” and…
An act of heroic honour or gross stupidity?
The battle of Maldon, August the 10th or 11th, 991
Athelstan’s victory in 937 at Brunanburh, did not remove the Viking threat and after the king’s death, his successors, Edmund the 1st and Eadred had to deal with several Viking attempts to re-establish their rule in York and Northumberland. Anglo Saxon England did not become reunified until 954 when Eadred finally established full control.
Owain Ap Dyfnwal was a Northern British King who fought alongside Anlaf Guthfrithson and Constantine of Alba at the battle of Brunanburh in 937 AD.
He was king of Strathclyde, a kingdom of indigenous Britons, who’s Kingdom was formed during the post Roman period when the ethnic groups of the British Isles fought to create independent countries during a period of political instability and foreign invasion.
Egil Skallagrimsson was as Icelandic Viking who fought for the Anglo-Saxons at the battle of Brunanburh in 937 AD.
He appears to have had an adventurous life, but his life story, recorded by a relative, namely one Snorri Sturluson, over 200 years after the event’s of Egil’s lifetime, is embellished and as is typical with many of the Viking saga’s needs to be taken with the proverbial pinch of salt
Investigating if this battle took place in Wirral is our primary objective.
Why? Most historians agree that this event created a new nation – England.
They also think that it probably took place in Wirral.
But the place where the battle took place has been lost for hundreds of years…
So, finding real proof of the battle site will identify the birthplace of England.
Wirral Archaeology are grateful to Bernard Cornwell for his shout out in the notes for his latest book “War Lord” You can buy the book from your local book shop or from the usual online places.
For centuries, Historians, Scholars and Antiquarians have debated and argued as to where the battle took place. Academics too, have studied the various chronicles and many have advocated several locations with many placing the battle as having been fought on the East Coast, near the River Humber or in Lancashire, near Burnley. Other locations claim the battle, but the current Academic consensus, is that it was fought on the Wirral.
This forgotten battle is regarded by most historians as the event that created the English nation; but where is took place has been lost for centuries. There have been many attempts to locate the battlefield, but these have been based on trying to interpret a few clues and information taken from manuscripts written sometimes hundreds of years later. None of them have been able to firmly place the symbol of crossed swords on a map to show where the battle was.