Dark Ages - The Viking Invasion Of Wessex 878Ad

Release Date: 05 December 2011 | Certificate: Exempt
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"In the year 878 AD Alfred, King of Wessex, faced the fourth and most serious attempt by the devious Viking chieftain Guthram to seize the last remaining Saxon kingdom. Thwarted in their conventional attempts in 871, 876 and 878 AD, the Vikings ‘stole away’ from their base in Gloucester and descended on Alfred’s court while they were celebrating Twelfth Night on the borders of wintery Wessex at Chippenham. Alfred escaped but was driven into hiding in the Somerset Marshes, while the Vikings fanned across Wessex. All seemed to be over for Alfred and the Saxons!

The King of Wessex then staged one of the most unlikely recoveries to be found in all military history. It is, however, one full of historical controversies, with historians from many backgrounds bending the slim Dark Ages body of facts to breaking point and beyond to support their own theories. Soldiers and military historians, Tim Saunders and Andrew Duff apply the enduring principals of war and inherent military probability to take a fresh look at the campaign and its hotly debated locations. The campaign climaxed in the Battle of Eddington. This the most decisive and formative battle to be fought on English soil and it led to Alfred becoming the only Englishman to be known as ‘The Great’.

Production notes:

Filmed on location in the West Country Somerset Marshes and Salisbury Plain, Tim and Andrew use their experience as army officers to look at Dark Ages life and warfare and then examine the phases of the Campaign with a purely military eye. Wth the help of maps, re-enactment and diagrams, they explain the most likely course of events using their knowledge of the enduring characteristics of warfare to flesh out the scant information in an understandable and credible manner.

Together they tell a story that is as compelling as any in this Island’s long history, as they range from the first recorded Viking raid at Portland, through Guthram’s first attempts at invasion, to Chippenham and on to the Isle of Athelny deep in the fastness of the marshes. Exploring the remains of the mighty and mysterious Selwood Forest, they peel back a mix of legend, Saxon allegory and dubious historical analysis to reveal the likely location of the gathering of the Saxon Army and the decisive battle.

Release Date: 05 December 2011
Certificate: E - Exempt from Certification

Region 2
Sound: Dolby Digital
Running Time: 90 minutes
Main Language: English

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Catalogue No: PS051DVD