3rd February – Brunanburh

I was reading the Book of Taliesin today and it mentioned the Battle of Brunanburh, which I had never appreciated the importance of.

The battle was fought in 937 between Æthelstan, King of England, and an alliance of Olaf Guthfrithson, King of Dublin; Constantine II, King of Scotland, and Owain, King of Strathclyde. The battle is often cited as the point of origin for English nationalism.

Æthelstan’s victory preserved the unity of England. The site of the battle is unknown and scholars have proposed many places all over the northern part of England from Bromborough on The Wirral, to Burghwallis in Yorkshire, to Burnley in Lancashire, to Lanchester in Durham.

In these situations I tend to think the battle was somewhere remote because thousands of people were killed and their bodies were left on the battlefield rather than being buried in mass graves. I would think if someone had discovered these bodies when ploughing land, this would have been passed down through the centuries in local tales or myths. I presume this has not happened otherwise someone would have said something.

Published by Julian Worker

I was born in Leicester. I attended school in Yorkshire and University in Liverpool. I have been to 93 countries and territories including The Balkans and Armenia in 2015, France and Slovakia in 2016, and some of the Greek Islands in 2017. My sense of humour is distilled from The Goons, Monty Python, Fawlty Towers, and Midsomer Murders. I love being creative in my writing and I love writing about travelling. My next books are a travel book about Greece and a novel inspired by Brexit.

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