Shopping Cart -

Your cart is currently empty.
Continue Shopping
This website use cookies and similar technologies to improve the site and to provide customised content and advertising. By using this site, you agree to this use. To learn more, including how to change your cookie settings, please view our Cookie Policy
Pocketmags Digital Magazines
Pocketmags Digital Magazines
   You are currently viewing the Australia version of the site.
Would you like to switch to your local site?
Digital Subscriptions > History Revealed > September 2017 > Battlefield: Brunanburh

Battlefield: Brunanburh

Athelstan’s victory at Brunanburh was one of the most important battles ever fought on British soil. But today it’s virtually unknown. Julian Humphrys tells more

The forgotten fight

After witnessing his unchallenged invasion of Scotland, Athelstan’s enemies realised that the only way they stood a chance at defeating him was to unite

Half a century after the victory of the men of Wessex and Mercia over an alliance of Scots, Strathclyde Britons and Norsemen from Ireland at Brunanburh, men were still calling it ‘the Great Battle’. Indeed, Brunanburh has been described as one of the most defining battles in the history of Britain. Its effects were wide-ranging. It certainly helped the Anglo-Saxon king Athelstan of Wessex consolidate his hold over his kingdom and create a more unified England. But it’s also been argued that the strong resistance put up by Athelstan’s enemies prevented the whole of Britain from being forcefully united into one imperial power. Yet despite all this, few today have heard of Brunanburh and even fewer think they know where it was fought.

Ever since he’d become King of the Anglo-Saxons in AD 925, Athelstan had been steadily extending his authority. After his grandfather, Alfred the Great, had halted the Danish conquest of England, his father, Edward the Elder, recaptured the East Midlands and East Anglia from the Danes in 917. Building on these solid foundations, Athelstan pushed north. In 927, he took over the last remaining Viking kingdom, York, extending his rule up to the Scottish border. In 934, he invaded Scotland, possibly because its king, Constantine, had broken a peace treaty. After gathering his forces at Winchester, he marched north, picking up reinforcements on the way and paying a visit to the shrine of St Cuthbert at Chester-le-Street, in modern-day County Durham. Supported by a fleet that sailed up the east coast, Athelstan led his Anglo-Saxon warriors deep into Scotland, burning and ravaging as far as the great fortress of Dunnottar, south of Aberdeen.

Purchase options below
Find the complete article and many more in this issue of History Revealed - September 2017
If you own the issue, Login to read the full article now.
Single Issue - September 2017
Or 599 points
Monthly Digital Subscription
Only $ 4.14 per issue
Or 449 points
Annual Digital Subscription
Only $ 4.31 per issue
Or 5599 points
6 Month Digital Subscription
Only $ 4.31 per issue
Or 2799 points

View Issues

About History Revealed

Inside, Tudor historian Alison Weir uncovers one of the most "grievous miscarriages of justice" in English history, we find out why the Vietnam War was doomed from the start, and explore the secret life of Albert Einstein, from his rebellious childhood to his scandalous affair.