27 August 2013

Anglo-Saxons and atmosphere

BBC has a television series about the Anglo-Saxons - King Alfred etc - which I've been catching up with via the i-player, as much for the scenery as for the history. Looking forward to watching further episodes.

I loved seeing the rain on the plain - Salisbury Plain - which looksmuch as it did when Alfred fought the Battle of Edington and won, in 878. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle says: "the raiding army granted him (Alfred) hostages and great oaths that they would leave his kingdom and also promised him that their king (Guthrum) would receive baptism; and they fulfilled it." Alfred adopted Guthrum as his godson, as part of the peacemaking process, and Guthrum took the baptismal name Aethelstan - not to be confused with Alfred's grandson Aethelstan, who upon conquering York in 927 became the first ruler to control all of England.

But back to the rain on the plain -

We drove across Salisbury Plain not so long ago, and I loved the expanse and the colours. Even then it was set to rain, so we saw some marvellous skies -

The plain is the largest area of calcareous grassland (with thin soil and short, hardy grasses) in northwest Europe. Stonehenge is not too far away; lots of history...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Marvellous photos of a magical place. And thanks for the tip about the BBC series.