Now the hunt is launched for grave of King Alfred

Now th ehunt is launched for grave of King Alfred

Now th ehunt is launched for grave of King Alfred

First published in News
Last updated

The next great mystery of where a king is buried could be solved as archaeologists try to find the grave of Alfred the Great.

An application is being prepared to exhume and study bones believed to lie in an unmarked grave at St Bartholomew Church in Winchester, to find out if they are the legendary Saxon king, who is said to have burnt the cakes and defeated the Danes.

It is thought the grave may hold the bones of Alfred after a possible earlier burial of the king under the nearby ruined Hyde Abbey was dug up in the 19th century.

The next dig comes after the remains of Richard III were found under a car park in Leicester.

The University of Winchester is to seek permission from a diocesan advisory panel of the Church of England which will consult English Heritage and a judge will make a final decision.

Doctor Katie Tucker from the university explained that it is not known if the bones of the king were disturbed when Hyde Abbey was dissolved by Henry VIII in the 1530s.

Since then there have been several digs at the site all suggesting they have found the bones with some being put on display in Winchester in the 19th century before they were buried in the unmarked grave at the church.

German scientists have analysed the skeleton of Alfred's granddaughter in Magdeburg, Germany to try and get DNA but that has proved unsuccessful, Dr Tucker said, so experts will rely on radio carbon dating to get proof.

''If the bones are from around the 10th century then that is proof they are Alfred and his family because Hyde Abbey was not built until the 12th century and they would be no reason for any other bones from the 10th century to be there,'' she said.

''This is a long shot because unlike with Richard III there is no complete skeleton. We only know they are five skulls and some bones and we also don't know if the bones are monks from the abbey.''

The university is hoping that permission will be granted this spring and results could be due in the early summer.

Alfred lived from 849 AD to 899 and was born in Wantage, Oxfordshire. He is the only English monarch to be afforded the title The Great. He was technically King of Wessex but he was referred to as King of the English towards the end of his reign.

He united areas of the country and defeated the Danes in several battles before reforming the country and laying the foundations of a more modern state. He died in his capital Winchester and was buried there.

Legend has it he burnt cakes he was asked to watch over while distracted trying to think how to defeat the invaders and he had to sleep with his horse as a punishment.

Comments (15)

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12:27pm Tue 5 Feb 13

sotonwinch09 says...

What good will come from digging up his bones?
What good will come from digging up his bones? sotonwinch09
  • Score: 0

12:49pm Tue 5 Feb 13

There's Always Been Ethel says...

Wouldn't it be funny if his remains were found under Gregg's?
Wouldn't it be funny if his remains were found under Gregg's? There's Always Been Ethel
  • Score: 0

1:05pm Tue 5 Feb 13

CharlieOxbridge says...

Wasnt he in hiding and took the identity of a one of the cooks as in those days nobody really knew what the king looked like.
Wasnt he in hiding and took the identity of a one of the cooks as in those days nobody really knew what the king looked like. CharlieOxbridge
  • Score: 0

2:59pm Tue 5 Feb 13

lambo83 says...

There's Always Been Ethel wrote:
Wouldn't it be funny if his remains were found under Gregg's?
Not really, no.
[quote][p][bold]There's Always Been Ethel[/bold] wrote: Wouldn't it be funny if his remains were found under Gregg's?[/p][/quote]Not really, no. lambo83
  • Score: 0

4:25pm Tue 5 Feb 13

Tenderhearts wife says...

As they do not have any DNA from a decendant to compare to, he fact that the bones could prove to be from the 10th centuary proves nothing but that, like it says they could be some random Monks remains and not the Kings. So I think that this will be a time and money wasting exercise in the end.
As they do not have any DNA from a decendant to compare to, he fact that the bones could prove to be from the 10th centuary proves nothing but that, like it says they could be some random Monks remains and not the Kings. So I think that this will be a time and money wasting exercise in the end. Tenderhearts wife
  • Score: 0

4:54pm Tue 5 Feb 13

sotonboy84 says...

Tenderhearts wife wrote:
As they do not have any DNA from a decendant to compare to, he fact that the bones could prove to be from the 10th centuary proves nothing but that, like it says they could be some random Monks remains and not the Kings. So I think that this will be a time and money wasting exercise in the end.
Completely agree. If he was living and died in the 10th century, then as king there would have been many other people living there too!
[quote][p][bold]Tenderhearts wife[/bold] wrote: As they do not have any DNA from a decendant to compare to, he fact that the bones could prove to be from the 10th centuary proves nothing but that, like it says they could be some random Monks remains and not the Kings. So I think that this will be a time and money wasting exercise in the end.[/p][/quote]Completely agree. If he was living and died in the 10th century, then as king there would have been many other people living there too! sotonboy84
  • Score: 0

5:45pm Tue 5 Feb 13

Fatty x Ford Worker says...

Under the M3 Mate them old Bones!
Under the M3 Mate them old Bones! Fatty x Ford Worker
  • Score: 0

6:00pm Tue 5 Feb 13

Gainer T Gopher says...

I think jumping on the band wagon would fit here....
I think jumping on the band wagon would fit here.... Gainer T Gopher
  • Score: 0

7:41pm Tue 5 Feb 13

J.P.M says...

Couldn't the DNA of the queen (not dannylaroo) be taken, and then compared to her ancestor's bones?
Couldn't the DNA of the queen (not dannylaroo) be taken, and then compared to her ancestor's bones? J.P.M
  • Score: 0

8:03pm Tue 5 Feb 13

Tye-Dye pt2 says...

J.P.M wrote:
Couldn't the DNA of the queen (not dannylaroo) be taken, and then compared to her ancestor's bones?
Lol J.P.M hopefully that was intentionally that funny, if not and you are serious I am sorry for being rude. Our current monarch & her husband have a closer bloodline to Hitler than one of our last great Kings, more's the pity by the way.
[quote][p][bold]J.P.M[/bold] wrote: Couldn't the DNA of the queen (not dannylaroo) be taken, and then compared to her ancestor's bones?[/p][/quote]Lol J.P.M hopefully that was intentionally that funny, if not and you are serious I am sorry for being rude. Our current monarch & her husband have a closer bloodline to Hitler than one of our last great Kings, more's the pity by the way. Tye-Dye pt2
  • Score: 0

8:06pm Tue 5 Feb 13

J.P.M says...

Tye-Dye pt2 wrote:
J.P.M wrote:
Couldn't the DNA of the queen (not dannylaroo) be taken, and then compared to her ancestor's bones?
Lol J.P.M hopefully that was intentionally that funny, if not and you are serious I am sorry for being rude. Our current monarch & her husband have a closer bloodline to Hitler than one of our last great Kings, more's the pity by the way.
Ahhhhh

So they don't actually have a right to be my sovereign?
[quote][p][bold]Tye-Dye pt2[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]J.P.M[/bold] wrote: Couldn't the DNA of the queen (not dannylaroo) be taken, and then compared to her ancestor's bones?[/p][/quote]Lol J.P.M hopefully that was intentionally that funny, if not and you are serious I am sorry for being rude. Our current monarch & her husband have a closer bloodline to Hitler than one of our last great Kings, more's the pity by the way.[/p][/quote]Ahhhhh So they don't actually have a right to be my sovereign? J.P.M
  • Score: 0

3:15pm Wed 6 Feb 13

southy says...

J.P.M wrote:
Tye-Dye pt2 wrote:
J.P.M wrote:
Couldn't the DNA of the queen (not dannylaroo) be taken, and then compared to her ancestor's bones?
Lol J.P.M hopefully that was intentionally that funny, if not and you are serious I am sorry for being rude. Our current monarch & her husband have a closer bloodline to Hitler than one of our last great Kings, more's the pity by the way.
Ahhhhh

So they don't actually have a right to be my sovereign?
Interesting you should say that, but your forgetting the Saxons them selfs was one of the many Germanic tribes as was the Danes, jutes, Anglos, Pits and Kelts, hte Germanic tribes accounted for most of the Gaelic tribes as a whole.
[quote][p][bold]J.P.M[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Tye-Dye pt2[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]J.P.M[/bold] wrote: Couldn't the DNA of the queen (not dannylaroo) be taken, and then compared to her ancestor's bones?[/p][/quote]Lol J.P.M hopefully that was intentionally that funny, if not and you are serious I am sorry for being rude. Our current monarch & her husband have a closer bloodline to Hitler than one of our last great Kings, more's the pity by the way.[/p][/quote]Ahhhhh So they don't actually have a right to be my sovereign?[/p][/quote]Interesting you should say that, but your forgetting the Saxons them selfs was one of the many Germanic tribes as was the Danes, jutes, Anglos, Pits and Kelts, hte Germanic tribes accounted for most of the Gaelic tribes as a whole. southy
  • Score: 0

3:17pm Wed 6 Feb 13

southy says...

What would interest me more would be if they went looking for Oliver Cromwell body parts
What would interest me more would be if they went looking for Oliver Cromwell body parts southy
  • Score: 0

6:07pm Wed 6 Feb 13

Tye-Dye pt2 says...

southy wrote:
J.P.M wrote:
Tye-Dye pt2 wrote:
J.P.M wrote:
Couldn't the DNA of the queen (not dannylaroo) be taken, and then compared to her ancestor's bones?
Lol J.P.M hopefully that was intentionally that funny, if not and you are serious I am sorry for being rude. Our current monarch & her husband have a closer bloodline to Hitler than one of our last great Kings, more's the pity by the way.
Ahhhhh

So they don't actually have a right to be my sovereign?
Interesting you should say that, but your forgetting the Saxons them selfs was one of the many Germanic tribes as was the Danes, jutes, Anglos, Pits and Kelts, hte Germanic tribes accounted for most of the Gaelic tribes as a whole.
Yeah fair point Southy, a right old mix up and no mistake. My leaning is more to your post at 3:17 to be honest, far more worthy.
[quote][p][bold]southy[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]J.P.M[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Tye-Dye pt2[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]J.P.M[/bold] wrote: Couldn't the DNA of the queen (not dannylaroo) be taken, and then compared to her ancestor's bones?[/p][/quote]Lol J.P.M hopefully that was intentionally that funny, if not and you are serious I am sorry for being rude. Our current monarch & her husband have a closer bloodline to Hitler than one of our last great Kings, more's the pity by the way.[/p][/quote]Ahhhhh So they don't actually have a right to be my sovereign?[/p][/quote]Interesting you should say that, but your forgetting the Saxons them selfs was one of the many Germanic tribes as was the Danes, jutes, Anglos, Pits and Kelts, hte Germanic tribes accounted for most of the Gaelic tribes as a whole.[/p][/quote]Yeah fair point Southy, a right old mix up and no mistake. My leaning is more to your post at 3:17 to be honest, far more worthy. Tye-Dye pt2
  • Score: 0

9:46pm Wed 6 Feb 13

wake up says...

first they were looking for king richard the III , now king alfred ,,,, is this a PUB CRAWL OR WHAT ?
first they were looking for king richard the III , now king alfred ,,,, is this a PUB CRAWL OR WHAT ? wake up
  • Score: 0

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