Skip to content

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

Hampshire and its 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.

Read More »

Corhampton Church

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.

Read More »

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 its exterior belies its ancient past but it is a house full on intrigue and mystery.

Read More »

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

Read More »

King Alfred the Great final resting place

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

Read More »

Corhampton Church

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 its architecture and artefacts and other events that occurred in its long history. Go to the northern side of the church and look at the blocked…

Read More »