Drawings of Anglo-Saxons

ANGLO-SAXON DISCOVERY

Drawings of objects

KINGS AND KINGDOMS

ANGLO-SAXON KINGS

The kings, and queens, of the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms became increasingly powerful from the eighth to eleventh centuries (AD750-AD1066). The kingdoms began to expand and merge until by the tenth century three main kingdoms remained: Mercia, Wessex and Northumberland.

The kings of Wessex gradually became the dominant rulers and eventually controlled all of England. Here are some of the most famous:

Click on a king to find out more Click to find out about Alfred the Great Click to find out about Athelstan Click to find out about Eadred Click to find out about Edward the Confessor Click to find out about Harold

Click on the name of a king to find out more
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Coin of Alfred drawn by Lucy age 10

Alfred the Great (AD 871-899) is one of the most famous kings of Wessex. He defeated a Danish army which lead to the creation of the 'Danelaw' in AD 886. This effectively gave control of much of the north and east of England to the Danes (particularly Northumbria and East Anglia). King Alfred was also responsible for fortifying many towns, creating "burhs". He also reformed the Church, promoted education and recorded laws.

Find out more about King Alfred and the Vikings

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An Anglo-Saxon King drawn by Jack age 7 1/2

Athelstan (AD 924-940), the grandson of Alfred, is sometimes referred to as the first king of All England. However, although he was a great warrior and managed to defeat the Vikings at Brunanburh in AD 938, he did not retain control of the whole country.

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An Anglo-Saxon king drawn by Helena

Eadred (AD 946-955), was the first true king of All England, gaining control of the whole country in AD 954.

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An Anglo-Saxon king drawn by Ryan age 10

Edward the Confessor (AD 1042-1066) succeeded to the throne after the death of the Danish king Canute (AD 1016-1035) and his half brother Hardicanute (AD 1040-1042). Edward was known as a religous man and built a new cathedral at Westminster. At his death, William, Duke of Normandy claimed the thrown but...

Find out more about King Canute (also spelt Cnut)

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Coin of Harold II drawn by Joe age 10 1/2

Harold II (AD 1066) took the thrown, which led to the Battle of Hastings and the Norman conquest of England. This marks the end of the Anglo-Saxon period.

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