Winchester academic reveals secrets of King Alfred's resting place in new book

Dr Katie Tucker

Dr Katie Tucker

First published in News Hampshire Chronicle: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

A NEW biography chronicling the life of King Alfred the Great has been amassed by an academic from the University of Winchester.

Dr Katie Tucker, a post-doctoral fellow in Human Bioarchaeology, led the investigation that discovered a pelvic bone earlier this year believed to belong to the King or his son, Edward the Elder.

Though Alfred’s remains are known to have been moved multiple times since his death in 899 AD his final resting place has been shrouded in mystery.

In January members of the university and community-based cultural group Hyde900 revealed they had found a fragment of bone, among remains found in the ruins of Hyde Abbey, that could be linked to the King of Wessex.

Now, for the first time, the story of what became of his body has been told in the new biography In Search of Alfred the Great: The King, the Grave, the Legend.

The book sees Dr Tucker trace the historical story of Alfred’s remains, from his burial at Old Minster in Winchester to the New Minster and then to Hyde Abbey. She also talks of her new research, including the excavation of the unmarked grave at Hyde Parish Church, and the analysis and dating of the bones from Hyde Abbey.

“As well as offering a new biography of the life of Alfred the Great, this book is the first time that the full story of the new research has been set down in print,” said Dr Tucker. “However, there is still the potential for more to be uncovered about Alfred and his family.

“Hopefully, there will be new excavations at Hyde Abbey and DNA comparisons with the remains from the mortuary chests in Winchester Cathedral.”

The University of Winchester, Winchester City Council and Hyde900 are in discussions about undertaking further investigations at the site of Hyde Abbey to find further remains of King Alfred and the Wessex royal family.

Dr Tucker’s co-author Edoardo Albert has written historical biographies and fiction, as well as short stories and features for Ancient Paths, Time Out and History Today.

In Search of Alfred the Great: The King, the Grave, the Legend by Edoardo Albert and Katie Tucker will be available from Amberley Publishing from today (August 28).

For more information about the Search for Alfred the Great please visit winchester.ac.uk/searchforalfred.

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