House of Wessex

House of Wessex Period in Hampshire’s History

The House of Wessex Period in the history of Hampshire tied this ancient county to the centre of power when Alfred the Great made Winchester in Hampshire his capital city. This period from the beginning of the 9th century to the Norman invasion (with the slight hiccup of the Danish kings) put Wessex and Hampshire right at the heart of power and politics in England.

House of Wessex
Ring of King Ethelwulf

Egbert was King of Wessex from 802 – 839. When the King of Northumbria submitted to him in 829 he was given the title Bretwalda, ruler of Britain and so it was that the dynasty set to rule Wessex, including the area of Hampshire was to become the most powerful of the early Kingdoms.

This dynasty gave us King Alfred, son of Ethelwulf and his history is synonymous with Hampshire, in particular Winchester. Under the Wessex Kings, Winchester grew as an ecclesiastical and royal centre.

House of Wessex
King Alfred Statue Winchester

The trading area of Hamwic developed and in this period, Hampshire was given it’s name.

There are many intriguing connections to explore and here you will find an expanding collection together with maps and data as we progress with this project.

The Impact of the Vikings on Churches in Wessex

The Impact of the Vikings on Churches in Wessex

Hampshire and it’s neighbouring counties of Berkshire and Wiltshire were at the core of West Saxon Wessex when the Viking raids swept through. The emerging Christian churches were attacked and the fragile shoots of the new religion stamped upon.

Untangling the Early Church in Hampshire (Part 1)

Untangling the Early Church in Hampshire (Part 1)

Hampshire has a great number of early churches, a number of which still have vestiges of their Anglo Saxon origins peeping through the structure.

The Mysteries of Wymering Manor

The Mysteries of Wymering Manor

Wymering Manor in Portsmouth is one of Hampshire’s oldest and allegedly, most haunted houses. From the outside it presents a bit of a sorry state and it’s exterior belies it’s ancient past but it is a house full on intrigue and mystery.

King Alfred’s Will

King Alfred’s Will

This entry is part 8 of 15 in the series Anglo Saxon Hampshire

The will of King Alfred is a rare beast, only one other will of an Anglo Saxon king has survived

King Alfred the Great, May He Finally Rest?

King Alfred the Great, May He Finally Rest?

This entry is part 9 of 15 in the series Anglo Saxon Hampshire

King Alfred the Great, his final resting place uncertain for so many years, could it finally have been resolved? The Winchester Uni team have some answers. To be revealed in a documentary in January 2014

Corhampton Church and King Cnut

Corhampton Church and King Cnut

A possible link between Corhampton church and King Cnut The Anglo Saxon church is awash with historical gems and it’s interesting to consider some of the connections made between it’s architecture and artefacts and other events that occurred in it’s long history. Go to the northern side of the church and look at the blocked…

Nunnaminster Winchester

Nunnaminster Winchester

Nunnaminster in Winchester was the Saxon abbey founded in 903AD by King Alfred and his wife Ealhswith. It was a wooden structure re-built in stone and then enlarged by the Normans.

Romsey Abbey

Romsey Abbey

Romsey Abbey is an imposing Romanesque church and once one of the most important ecclesiastical sites in England. It’s Abbesses came from royal and high status families and before the black death amassed great wealth.

St Nicholas Church Bishop’s Sutton

St Nicholas Church Bishop’s Sutton

The church of St Nicholas Bishop’s Sutton is a simple and beautiful church sitting at the headwaters of the River Arle

Anglo Saxon Women – Frithburga

Anglo Saxon Women – Frithburga

This entry is part 7 of 15 in the series Anglo Saxon Hampshire

The grave cover for the Anglo Saxon women Frithburga, which can be seen in All Hallows church Whitchurch is a very lovely and special object