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#279893 - 3rd Jan 2009 7:39pm Battle of Bromborough
pacef8 Offline
Smartchild

Registered: 27th Dec 2008
Posts: 458
Loc: south wirral
BRITAIN’S biggest and bloodiest ever battle was staged on Merseyside, a sensational new BBC TV documentary will reveal tonight.

The Battle of Brunanburh actually took place at Bromborough in Wirral in 937AD, lasted from dawn to dusk, cost the lives of thousands of warriors and changed the structure of the British Isles forever.

"This is one of the most important battles of British History, on a par with Hastings, yet few people have even heard of it," the writer and archeologist Neil Oliver told the Daily Post.

He will present the programme, A History of Scotland, which will recall what was called The Great Battle when it is first broadcast on BBC2 at 8pm tonight.

The battle came at a time when there were two kings, Constantine II commander of the northern coalition of tribes and the Anglo Saxon Athelstan from the South. They clashed at Brunanburh which most historians are now convinced is present day Bromborough.

Much of the recent research is based on the work of Wallasey- born Professor Steve Harding and colleagues Dr Paul Cavill and Professor Judith Jesch at Nottingham University who in 2004 were at the forefront at placing the battle in Wirral.

"This was the mother of all Dark Age bloodbaths which would define the shape of Britain into the modern era," said 41-year-old Oliver who first sprung to TV prominence in the series Two Men In A Trench.

"This was a showdown for two very different ethnic identities – a Norse Celtic alliance versus Anglo Saxon.

"It aimed to settle once and for all whether Britain would be controlled by a single imperial power or remain several separate independent kingdoms, a split in perceptions which is still very much with us today."

He said that for decades after it was referred to as The Great Battle, and though Athelstan emerged victorious, such was the savage resistance of the northern "rainbow alliance" from the likes of Gaels, Picts, Celts and Vikings further conflict was avoided and his dream of completely conquering Britain shelved.

"It really was a monster gathering at Brunanburh as so much was at stake," he added. "Athelstan really believed it was his destiny to carry on where the Romans left off by controlling every part of Britain.

"But the fighting was so severe and both sides so devastated by it, that both withdrew to lick their wounds." Its status as The Great Battle, however, may have been diminished by the invasion of the Normans and their victory at Hastings in 1066.

"Just over 100 years later, the Normans’ records would have reflected their sides of things and would have wanted their battle to be remembered above all else.

"But although there’s no plaque in place and the evidence has only been unearthed by intensive work by academics, you would be hard pushed to undermine the significance of Brunanburh in British History.

"It many ways it puts Hastings in the shade."

There you go people or brommies as we like to call ourselves.
Ta
Pace


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#279897 - 3rd Jan 2009 7:51pm Re: Battle of Bromborough [Re: pacef8]
MGCraig Offline
AlfaHolic
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Registered: 16th Apr 2006
Posts: 5488
Loc: Spital
Didnt a large section of the battle take place where Brackenwood Golf Course now stands though?
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#279898 - 3rd Jan 2009 7:57pm Re: Battle of Bromborough [Re: MGCraig]
ghostly1 Offline
Smartchild

Registered: 25th Nov 2007
Posts: 403
Loc: Liscard
nice one pace, glad i noticed your post now will watch that. thanks

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#279903 - 3rd Jan 2009 8:00pm Re: Battle of Bromborough [Re: ghostly1]
Mondeo_Scott Offline

Forum Master

Registered: 14th Aug 2006
Posts: 2875
Loc: Wirral
currently set to record on me sky+ will watch it later grin
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#279907 - 3rd Jan 2009 8:06pm Re: Battle of Bromborough [Re: Mondeo_Scott]
_Ste_ Offline


Wiki Master

Registered: 7th Aug 2005
Posts: 15985
Loc: New Brighton
this sounds pretty cool smile
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#279914 - 3rd Jan 2009 8:12pm Re: Battle of Bromborough [Re: _Ste_]
Waddi Offline

Forum Guardian

Registered: 11th Jul 2004
Posts: 4006
Loc: New Ferry
Strange that, My 3 year old Daughter has often stood at my parents patio doors in bromborough and referred to a soldier crying in the garden, Spooky.
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#279934 - 3rd Jan 2009 9:09pm Re: Battle of Bromborough [Re: Waddi]
pacef8 Offline
Smartchild

Registered: 27th Dec 2008
Posts: 458
Loc: south wirral
that will be me mountain biking in the dark trying to ride the dibby steps and falling off again.

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#280073 - 4th Jan 2009 10:07am Re: Battle of Bromborough [Re: pacef8]
ponytail Offline
Smartchild

Registered: 31st Dec 2008
Posts: 575
Loc: wirral
I watched the programme last night and was thoroughly fascinated by it. Being Scottish, I was amazed at the discovery of the Chronicle book in France and of the The Battle of Brunanburh. So many died for independence and so much was negotiated for the alliances. Bromborough does spook me out, especially the area round the church. I walked through it once, never again, on my own! The Wirral has so much History still uncovered that it would be great if they also put together a programme just for this area.

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#280089 - 4th Jan 2009 11:06am Re: Battle of Bromborough [Re: ponytail]
Dava2479 Offline

Forum Addict

Registered: 10th Feb 2008
Posts: 1924
Loc: Wirral
Originally Posted By: gloria
I watched the programme last night and was thoroughly fascinated by it. Being Scottish, I was amazed at the discovery of the Chronicle book in France and of the The Battle of Brunanburh. So many died for independence and so much was negotiated for the alliances. Bromborough does spook me out, especially the area round the church. I walked through it once, never again, on my own! The Wirral has so much history still uncovered that it would be great if they also put together a programme just for this area.


I unfortunatly never got to see it,but I thats a great idea Gloria. happy

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#280176 - 4th Jan 2009 4:15pm Re: Battle of Bromborough [Re: Dava2479]
Doctor_Frick Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 24th Nov 2007
Posts: 308
Loc: Prenton
I think its very important to mention that nobody is certain that it did take place in Wirral, no proof has been found and nothing has been verified.

However that said it does seem the most likely contender out of all of the suspected sites and the old Norse translation does fit the local surroundings.

And yes it would be cool if it was true smile
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#280413 - 4th Jan 2009 10:10pm Re: Battle of Bromborough [Re: Doctor_Frick]
MissCalculated Offline

Enthusiast

Registered: 2nd Aug 2008
Posts: 193
Loc: Moreton
Wow I just watched this on iPlayer and its so fascinating...learned a bit of how Scotland was formed too, which im sad to say they dont really teach in schools in England i dont think, well they didnt when I was at school, which was sometime around the reign of Athelstan.
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#280460 - 4th Jan 2009 11:32pm Re: Battle of Bromborough [Re: MissCalculated]
chriskay Offline
Forum Veteran

Registered: 25th Oct 2007
Posts: 4868
Loc: shropshire
Originally Posted By: MissCalculated
well they didnt when I was at school, which was sometime around the reign of Athelstan.


Oh, as late as that? grin
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#280466 - 4th Jan 2009 11:35pm Re: Battle of Bromborough [Re: chriskay]
MissCalculated Offline

Enthusiast

Registered: 2nd Aug 2008
Posts: 193
Loc: Moreton
Your not supposed to make comments on a lady's age....but then I dont see any present tease
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#280882 - 6th Jan 2009 1:23pm Re: Battle of Bromborough [Re: MissCalculated]
ponytail Offline
Smartchild

Registered: 31st Dec 2008
Posts: 575
Loc: wirral
I found the folloiwng quote from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Brunanburh
Battle site
The location of Brunanburh has not been definitively identified though possible sites in Northumberland have been suggested as well as Bromborough in Merseyside,[4] Burnswark in Dumfries and Galloway, Tinsley Wood in South Yorkshire,[5] and Axminster in Devon.[6] These are not the only sites suggested, but they are the most commonly accepted. Alistair Campbell analysed all the sources, contemporary and later, and found it impossible to locate the battle.

To further research these references, this is also what I found
4 Birthplace of Englishness 'found'. BBC News Online (URL accessed 27 August 2006). [/color]
This was from the BBC website:
Birthplace of Englishness
A group of academics believe they have found the battlefield where the concept of 'Englishness' was born.
The bloodbath at Brunanburh in 937 AD was fought by King Athelstan when he united the Anglo-Saxons for the first time to fight off a Viking invasion.

The research claims that the site of the battle mentioned in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle was on what is now a golf course in Bebington, Wirral.

It is thought the exact location has been a mystery for more than centuries.


The golf course was the scene of "absolute carnage" in 937

Professor Stephen Harding, from Wirral, told BBC News the golf course would have been the scene of "absolute carnage".

The amateur historian added: "We believe it was probably the site of the Battle of Brunanburh which was one of the bloodiest of battles to have taken place in the British Isles."

The two place names referred to in The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle as being the sites of battles are Brunanburh and Dingesmere.

Brunanburh could have been Bromborough, in Wirral, although other locations in Scotland, Yorkshire, Northamptonshire and Lancashire have been suggested by historians.

But, until now, Dingesmere has never been located.

Chased up fairway

Prof Harding's research argues that 'Ding' refers to the Viking meeting place or 'Thing' at modern-day Thingwall, off the A551 in Wirral.

The Chronicle recounts how the English advanced and began pursuing the invaders up what is now the fairway of the par 4 11th hole at Brackenwood Road golf course.

The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records: "Never yet on this island has there been a greater slaughter.

"When it was over Athelstan and his brother Edmund returned to Wessex, leaving behind corpses for the dark black-coated raven, horny-beaked, to enjoy."

Prof Harding runs the National Centre for Molecular Hydrodynamics in Nottingham.
[/color]
5 Wood, Michael (2001). Tinsley Wood. In In Search of England: Journeys into the English past, pp203–221. Penguin Books Ltd (University of California Press in the United States). ISBN 0-520-23218-6 - this can be found on Google books secion on the internet.


6 Anglo-Saxon warfare

Brunanburh 937

An Armed coalition formed by Olaf Guthfrithson, with Constantine of the Scots invaded England sailing up the Humber with a fleet of 615 ships which would rendezvous with further troops from the north-west. It was a large army sometimes exaggerated to 60,000 but more reasonably placed at about 20,000. Æthelstan had to take some time to raise an army large enough to face the threat but at then end of 931 he met the invaders in the battle of Brunanburh. The Mercian and West Saxon army attacked in two divisions. Mercians faced the Scandinavians, and the Saxons headed off against the Scotts. The victory was a national triumph for the English. Historians are still in debate of the exact location of the battle but they speculate that it was in one of three places; Axminster, between Dery and Rotherham, or Bromborough.


I wonder how the BBC located it to Bromborough or Wirral. Do you think they made a assumption or based it on evidence which they failed to report in the programme? Point to ponder.

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#280933 - 6th Jan 2009 5:11pm Re: Battle of Bromborough [Re: ponytail]
Doctor_Frick Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 24th Nov 2007
Posts: 308
Loc: Prenton
Its based on a lot of research by Paul Cavill, Stephen Harding, Judith Jesch and students from Nottingham Uni. They have been at the forefront of Viking research for decades and have instigated many studies.

As mentioned the evidance does support Wirral as the site but by no means confirms it. The lack of any finds from the battle is a serious problem.
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