The Battle of Ashingdon took place on this hill in 1016. Here, The Danish King, Cnut defeated the English King, Edmund Ironside. Despite losing, Edmund is celebrated in the name of the local school, “King Edmund”. The best tribute I have seen to the Danish King is a cartoon in which he is sitting on his throne on a beach trying to repel the tide. As he does this, one of his courtiers whispers to another, “Silly old Cnut”!
Just four years after the battle, this church was built. We have many Norman churches in England, but this is quite unusual in pre-dating the Norman invasion by 46 years. I expect when it was built it must have been the most impressive building for miles.
168. Pre-Norman Church