The Ravens Warband

Adam's Grave, AD592 & AD715

The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records two battles fought at 'Woddes beorge', the prehistoric barrow now known as Adam's Grave, near Marlborough Wiltshire.

The entry for the year 592 states:

Her micel wælfill wæs æt Woddes beorge, 7 Ceawlin wæs ut adrifen.

There was great slaughter at Woden's hill, and Ceawlin was driven out.

Ceawlin was king of Anglo-Saxon Wessex. In most versions of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle the entry does not record the identity of the force opposing Ceawlin but one version says they were British.

The entry for the year 715 states:

Her Ine 7 Ceolred fuhton æt Woddes beorge.

There Ine and Ceolred fought at Woden's hill.

Ine was king of Anglo-Saxon Wessex and Ceolred was king of Anglo-Saxon Mercia. The identity of the opposing force is not recorded, again, they are likely to have been British. From the phrasing of the entry it is unlikely Ine and Ceolred fought against one another.

The area was of strategic importance since it lay near the intersection of the ancient Ridgeway with Wansdyke. It is also possible that the battles took place on the nearby Neolithic Causewayed Enclosure of Knap Hill.

Knap hill. The remains of the ramparts are clearly visible.


Knap Hill (left) and Adam's Grave (right) from the Wansdyke

Directions to the Battlefield

Adam's Grave lies 8 miles South West of Marlborough. From Marlborough take the A4 west towards Calne. At Fyfield take a minor road south towards Alton Barnes and Woodborough.

A sixth century battle is also recorded at the nearby Barbury Castle.

Pioneer Helmet Back to 'Places to Visit'.

Pioneer Helmet Back to the main page.