Hundreds turn up to Battle of Buttington near Welshpool

Reporter:

Elgan Hearn

HUNDREDS of people flocked to Powysland Museum to watch the Viking hordes take on a combined Anglo Saxon and Welsh force as enthusiasts re-enacted the Battle of Buttington.

However, the result at Powis Castle Showfield was the same as over 1100 years ago with a resounding defeat for the Vikings.

Museum curator, Eva Bredsdorff, said: “It went amazingly well, we had a very successful weekend.

“On Saturday 600 people came here and 800 on Sunday.

“The Danish ambassador, Claus Grube, and his wife really enjoyed themselves.”

“We were lucky they came.”

Janine Bailey said on Powysland Museum’s Facebook page: “We went to this fantastic event, we are looking for archery clubs for my little wannabe viking.”

The re-enactors  set up a main Viking camp as well as two smaller Saxon and Welsh camps showing visitors what life was like in 10th century Britain.

The battle re-enactment is part of the “Vikings and Wales” exhibition of myths, legend, facts and finds on at Welshpool’s Powysland Museum until August 29.

The Battle of Buttington in 893, proved to be the Vikings last stand in Britain.

That year a Viking Army had landed in Kent and a smaller force in the Thames Estuary under the command of Danish King Hastein.

These armies were reinforced by Danes of East Anglia and Northumbria who had settled in Britain following earlier invasions.

Some sailed and attacked Exeter where King Alfred led his forces, leaving his thegns (senior noblemen) in charge of the defence of towns and cities in Wessex and Mercia.

It is said that Alfred held Hastein’s family captive which prompted a Danish attack beaten back in battle.

Hastein led his army up the Thames, probably intending to join up with Danish forces ravaging Devon.

But, Hastein was met by a combined army under the leadership Ethelred, King Alfred’s son-in-law, who harried the Danes up the Thames and Severn to Buttington.

And there Hastein was besieged on all sides.

The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle written at the time said: “After many weeks had passed, some of the heathen died of hunger, but some, having by then eaten their horses, broke out of the fortress, and joined battle with those who were on the east bank of the river.
“But, when many thousands of pagans had been slain, and all the others had been put to flight, the Christians were masters of the place of death.”

Email:

elgan.hearn@nwn.co.uk

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