I am Alfred, King of the Britons

I am Alfred King of the Britons.

Well, I didn’t vote for you

The Lady of the Lake, her arm clad in the purest shimmering samite held aloft Excalibur from the bosom of the water, signifying by divine providence that I, Alfred, was to carry Excalibur. THAT is why I am your king.

Last time we met Alfred he was burning the cakes. After this debacle he decided that he needed a better kitchen design and so he invented The Round Table. It took twelve nights to finish it. These became known as the nights of the round table.

The table was a sort of Lazy Susan. Susan wasn’t too impressed by being called lazy so she later cast a spell on him and turned him into bronze. This is possibly why people now think he suffered from Crone’s disease. Sharp eyes will note that the bronze took a while and the cast was finally finished in 1900 by Vosper’s brother, Hamo Thornycroft. Here he is standing on his pedestal. His cake slicer, Excalibur, is held aloft and the lid of the bin, into which he threw the charred offerings is by his side. He seems to be in need of a haircut and his Hunters look as if they have seen better days. He originally found Excalibur buried in a rock cake. Alfred

Alfred2He was married to Ealhswith and they had five children, all called Edward. The oldest was known as Edward the Elder. The second was called Edward the Second Eldest and so it went on. As some of the children were girls this caused a few problems. Nevertheless he was very popular with his family and on his 50th birthday they gave him a Holy Grail. He had been looking for one for years but they were always out of stock. He was so excited he keeled over and died.

Today he looks over the people of Winchester and remains as popular as ever. Here endeth the lesson. I hope you found it illuminating.

Two more photos to finish off:


High Street


26 thoughts on “I am Alfred, King of the Britons

  1. So did I just learn that the fantastical King we know over here as Arthur is actually Alfred? Or did Alfred aspire to be that fantastical Arthur? Anyway, nobody is making statues like that these days…matter of fact, they are not making kings like that either.

    Were you out for a lunchtime stroll?

  2. I’m loving these history lessons. When you move on to Art, can I request that you snap that Gormley in the Crypt please? My camera died the day I visited.

  3. Ha-ha. Lovely account of Arthur versus Alfred or vice versa or what ever his name was. His statue is rather ugly and he surely had no amount of ingenuity if all his kids were named Edward. No joke?

    The best part of this post was seeing the art on the corner with most of it comprised of wildlife with paintings or sketches of cattle in the mix. I saw a barn owls in flight, heron, hare, some kind of deer (roe, maybe), mallard ducks or some that are similar, mushrooms, donkeys and, what looked to be one or two English Setters in one painting. All the art looked pretty good. I keep wondering if it is original or reproduced.

    Gee, as you have written back in one of your comments, those streets are terribly narrow. Clearly no one had a clue about the future.

    • The pictures are original and good, Yvonne. I was drawn by the hares. I have a ceramic pair of hares boxing and a very good watercolour of hares. I might add to my collection. This section is pedestrianised and there is no traffic other than the shoppers. It’s a pleasant place to wander for half an hour.

  4. That’s quite some neighbour. When I was small, I thought I would grow up to be King Arthur, or Robin Hood or Richard the Lionheart… it didn’t occur to me that I would only qualify as Ethelfrida.

  5. Thank you for the lesson~it has cleared up some gaps in my education. I had the mistaken notion that the famous table took all of 12 nights to finish. Susan was quite right to turn him to bronze. I’d have done the same.

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