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Bones hold clue to King Alfred the Great's resting place
9:10am Wednesday 6th February 2013 in News
THE bones of Wantage’s most famous son, Alfred the Great, may have been located at a church in Hampshire.
The remains are thought to lie in an unmarked grave at St Bartholomew Church in Winchester.
It follows the discovery of the bones of Richard III beneath a car park in Leicester.
Archaeologists want to find out if the human remains are the legendary Saxon King Alfred the Great, who is commemorated with a statue in Wantage Market Place.
It is thought the grave may hold the bones of Alfred after a possible earlier burial of the king under the nearby ruined Hyde Abbey.
The University of Winchester is seeking permission from a diocesan advisory panel of the Church of England to exhume the bones. The panel will consult English Heritage before a judge makes a decision.
Wantage mayor Charlotte Dickson said: “This is fascinating and we wish the archaeologists in Hampshire the best of luck with this.”
German scientists have analysed the skeleton of Alfred’s granddaughter in Germany, to try to get DNA but that has proved unsuccessful, so experts will rely on radio carbon dating to get proof.
Alfred, who lived from 849AD to 899, was born in Wantage.
He died in his capital Winchester, where he was buried.