I know, but what IF … ?

It looks as if there is no toponym in Selwood which shows a remaining vestige of the name  ‘Ecgbryhts stane’. The only suggested match (not now apparently given any credence) is Brixton Deverill – (Ecg)Bryhts-stan.  The Domesday Book says that in 1066 the lord was one Brictric, son of Algar, who (it’s said) gave his name to the village. But, just supposing …

It turns out that some supposings are alluring enough to pursue just because …

Sarsen stones at Kingston Deverill, Wiltshire

Sarsen stones at Kingston Deverill, Wiltshire

Near Brixton Deverell is Kingston Deverill. The lord in 1066 had been Queen Edith, wife of Edward the Confessor; and the name probably derives from the fact that the manor passed into the possession of the Crown: Kings-ton, not Kings-stone. But on nearby King’s Court Hill a local farmer  found a prehistoric grouping of three sarsen stones (one now broken probably the capstone), which in 1877 he obligingly moved down into the village and set up near the parish church.

How did the hill get the name of King’s Court? Who was the king? Local legend said (of course!) that King Egbert held court there. And these are his stones. From the top of the hill there is a fine view of the surrounding land – just the place for a battle leader to assess the situation. But, of course, none of this … well …

… just one more thing …

How did Alfred get from Athelney to Ecgbryhts stane? Because, whatever its precise location, we know more or less where it was.

We know he was on horseback – ‘equitavit’, he gerad. It’s unlikely that there were horses … Oh, look, this is getting too long again. I must return to this at a later date.

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