Pretty good week this week. For starters we went to some hill where a battle was fought in 1016 called the battle of Assandun. It is in my area in a place called Ashingdon.
Here are the details:
|Edmund and Canute the Great in battle|
The Battle of Assandun was fought on 18 October 1016. It was a victory for the Danes, led by Canute the Great who triumphed over the English army led by King Edmund II ('Ironside'). The battle was the conclusion to the Danish reconquest of England. In earlier times, England had been seven kingdoms, but by the late 900s, there were two kingdoms. The Danes ruled two thirds of England -- The Danelaw, the area north of the Thames, along the Lee, northwest through the midlands including eastern Mercia to Chester and the River Dee. The Saxons ruled the area south of the Thames, the west - Wessex and western Mercia.
Canute had besieged London with major support from the English nobility against the Saxon hierarchy; particularly the Southampton nobles. The siege was in response to Edmund's reconquest of recently Danish-occupied Wessex, as well as conducting various indecisive offensives against Canute's army. London had withstood the siege and Edmund repulsed the Danes, but needed troops following a successful attack against the Danes in Mercia.
Leaving London, Edmund risked traveling into the countryside, dominated by enemies and at risk of being attacked by Danish soldiers. Canute's intelligence became aware of Edmund's movements, and while marching through Essex, Edmund's army was intercepted by Canute. The surprise interception overwhelmed the English, causing some of them to desert, and the Danes poured on the English, killing much of the nobility. Some sources claim that the Danes were losing ground, and that Eadric Streona had previously made a deal with Canute to desert the other English forces.
Following his defeat, King Edmund II was forced to sign a treaty with Canute in which all of England except for Wessex would be controlled by Canute, and when one of the kings should die, the other king would take all of England; and that king's son being the heir to the throne. After Edmund's death on 30 November, Canute then ruled the whole kingdom directly and thus, for the first time, England became a single united kingdom covering the same territory as it does today.
King Canute was accustomed to building a church, chapel or holy site after winning a battle to commemorate the soldiers who died in battle. A few years later saw the completion of construction in 1020 of the memorial church known as Ashingdon Minster, located on the hill next to the presumed site of the Battle in Ashingdon. The church still stands to this day. King Canute attended the dedication of Ashingdon Minster with his bishops and he appointed his personal priest Stigand to be the priest there. The church is now dedicated to Saint Andrew, but it is believed that it was dedicated earlier to Saint Michael who was considered to be a military saint and churches dedicated to him are frequently located on a hill.
So yeah there you go. I forgot my camera when we went there....but I found a picture online and it is attached.