Thursday, 5 March 2009

Ellendune and Elcombe

Elcombe Manor

The hamlet of Elcombe tucked away at the foot of the Downs between Wroughton and the M4 - just a few houses, a well, a manor house, and a working farm.

The Parish Church of Wroughton - previously known as Ellendune
Today I and went over to Wroughton to meet up with a friend. We walked over to the hamlet of Elcombe, via Wroughton parish church - the Church of St John the Baptist and St Helen. I picked up a leaflet that said the following:
The Church is built in Ellendune which is thought to be an ancient hill fort. Near to this place 825AD, at the Battle of Ellendune, the Kings of Wessex took over dominance from the kings of Mercia; one of the most important battles in English history. There is evidence of a church building on this site since at least the 10th century AD.
The Saxon Chronicles have an entry under the year 825AD as follows:
The Cornish Britons and the men of Devon fought at Galford, and the same year Ecgbryht, king of Wessex, and Beornulf, king of Mercia fought at Wroughton; Ecgbryht took the victory; and there afterwards he sent Aethelwulf, his son and Ealhstan, his bishop to Kent with a great host. They drove King Baldred north over the Thames; and the people of Kent turned to him, and Surrey, Sussex and Essex because they had been wrongly forced from their loyalty to his kinsmen. The same year, the King of the East Angles and the people sought the peace and protection of king Ecbryht, for fear of the Mercians; and the same year the East Angles killed Beornulf, king of the Mercians.