Remains exhumed at Winchester could be Alfred the Great

Remains exhumed at Winchester could be Alfred the Great

In a secret mission the archaeologists exhumed from an unnamed grave, in the cemetery of St. Bartholomew (Winchester), the possible remains of Alfred the Great.

It was secret because due to the great popular attention that the discovery of the grave of Richard III, ecclesiastical authorities feared that the Bartolomé cemetery, where the remains of Alfredo in Large in the 19th century, you could be the target of numerous thieves.

The Parish Church Council decided opt for caution and commissioned a team to excavate the supposed king's tomb and store the remains in a hidden location.

King Richard died just over 500 years ago and he was also buried in the same place. Alfred the Great died in 899, 1,114 years earlier, and his remains were moved several times over the next thousand years. He was first interred in the Old Cathedral in Winchester, where Alfredo is believed to have commissioned the construction of a new larger church where his remains and those of his successors would rest.

However, the New Cathedral It was not finished until the year 903, when his son reigned Edward the Elder, and it was his son who carried his father's body from the old church to the new. After his death, Alfredo's wife, Eduardo el Viejo, and their children were also buried in the New Cathedral.

When the Normans conquered England, a new church was built on the site of the old one and the New Cathedral became obsolete. The king Henry I commissioned the construction of a New Cathedral north of Winchester, in the Hyde neighborhood. Hyde Abbey was almost ready in 1110, so Alfred and his family were buried there. The Abbey was demolished during the dissolution of the monasteries in 1539, but the tombs remained intact.

like the Greyfriars church where was buried Richard III, the location of Hyde Abbey was forgotten for centuries. It was rediscovered when the County bought the land to build the jail in 1788. The inmates began clearing the rubble, and according to the prison warden's statements, they discovered a large coffin that they thought belonged to Alfredo.

On the other hand, the antiquarian John Mellon excavated the area in 1866 and claimed having found Alfredo's intact grave, and these were the remains that were buried in the San Bartolomé cemetery.

So yeah, the chances that these bones actually belong to Alfredo are very slim. Katie Tucker, an archaeologist at the University of Winchester, hopes to at least be able to radiocarbon date the bones to determine if they are really hers.

Almost graduated in Advertising and Public Relations. I started to like history in 2nd year of high school thanks to a very good teacher who made us see that we have to know our past to know where the future takes us. Since then, I have not had the opportunity to investigate more in everything that our history offers us, but now I can take up that concern and share it with you.


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