Burghwallis parish has long since been the subject of claims it was the scene of the last battle to seal England as a wholly Anglo-Saxon country. Athelstan, Grandson of Alfred the Great led the Anglo-Saxons to defeat the combined army of Vikings, Scots and wild Northumbrians in AD937.
The TV documentary series “Aethelstan, the First King of England”, broadcast on 20 August 2013 on the Anglo-Saxons hosted by Professor Michael Wood stated the scene of the last battle England was in the fields to the South of the A1 around Robin Hood’s Well. But a headline article in ‘The Times’ (21st November) revealed a further long running battle behind the scenes on the location.
Previously many historians believed the battle was at “Brunanburh”. Research proved no actual place of this name exists and therefore around 30 “possible” sites around the UK were reviewed. The final selection being the Bromborough on the Wirral – which used to be called Brunanburth. Michael Wood, professor of public history at the university of Manchester differed. As a leading authority on the Anglo-Saxon period he identified an ancient typo. The site of the ancient and incredibly bloody battle of Brunanburth is actually spelt with a double ‘n’. This changes the meaning substantially and Professor Wood upholds his claim, highlighted in the TV series that the actual site of the battle is Burghwallis. Further evidence also revealed that Bromborough was not mentioned in the Doomsday book of 1086,and not mentioned at all until the 12th century. In 927 Athelstan invaded Northumberland and occupied York. In 937 he was attacked by the biggest Viking fleet ever seen in British waters, landing naturally on the east coast.
This all means the history books of the past 300 years will need to be rewritten and the fields around Burghwallis and Robin Hoods Well recognised finally as the location of the last battle for England.