Battle of Brunanburh
Athelstan, having created a united kingdom of England by completing the re-conquest from the Danes, attempted to extend his authority over the northernmost territories of Britain. In response an alliance of British, Scots and Norse, under Olaf Guthfrithson, invaded England by ship via the Humber. In late 937 Athelstan responded, meeting the invaders in battle at Brunanburh. The joint Mercian and West Saxon army broke, pursued and destroyed the allied forces.
The site of the battle has not been established and a number of alternatives have been suggested. One of these lies in southern Scotland, close to the hillfort at Burnswark, south east of Lockerbie. However, according to Smurthwaite ‘it seems inconceivable that the battle was fought north of the border, particularly if we accept that Olaf landed on the Humber.’
The various alternative sites in England will be reviewed during 2006-8 as part of a review of English battlefields for English Heritage.
A VERY BRIEF REPORT ON THE SCOTTISH SITES SUGGESTED FOR THE BATTLEFIELD, PREPARED FOR HISTORIC SCOTLAND BY THE BATTLEFIELDS TRUST, IS AVAILABLE FROM THE DOWNLOAD AREA ON THE LEFT.