Battle of Tettenhall
The Battle of Tettenhall (sometimes referred to as the Battle of Wōdnesfeld) took place, according to the Anglo Saxon Chronicle near Tettenhall, on the 5 August 910
Year 910 was a common year starting on Monday of the Julian calendar.- Europe :* August 5 – The allied forces of Mercia and Wessex defeat an army of Northumbrian Vikings in the Battle of Tettenhall...

. The allied forces of Mercia
Mercia was one of the kingdoms of the Anglo-Saxon Heptarchy. It was centred on the valley of the River Trent and its tributaries in the region now known as the English Midlands...

 and Wessex
The Kingdom of Wessex or Kingdom of the West Saxons was an Anglo-Saxon kingdom of the West Saxons, in South West England, from the 6th century, until the emergence of a united English state in the 10th century, under the Wessex dynasty. It was to be an earldom after Canute the Great's conquest...

 met an army of Northumbrian Vikings in Mercia
Mercia was one of the kingdoms of the Anglo-Saxon Heptarchy. It was centred on the valley of the River Trent and its tributaries in the region now known as the English Midlands...

. The allied army scored a great victory over the Viking force, the last major army sent by the Danes to ravage England.


After successful raids by Danish Vikings, significant parts of North-Eastern England, formerly Northumbria
Northumbria was a medieval kingdom of the Angles, in what is now Northern England and South-East Scotland, becoming subsequently an earldom in a united Anglo-Saxon kingdom of England. The name reflects the approximate southern limit to the kingdom's territory, the Humber Estuary.Northumbria was...

, were under their control. Danish attacks into central England had been resisted and effectively reduced by Alfred the Great
Alfred the Great
Alfred the Great was King of Wessex from 871 to 899.Alfred is noted for his defence of the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of southern England against the Vikings, becoming the only English monarch still to be accorded the epithet "the Great". Alfred was the first King of the West Saxons to style himself...

, to the point where his son, King Edward of Wessex
Edward the Elder
Edward the Elder was an English king. He became king in 899 upon the death of his father, Alfred the Great. His court was at Winchester, previously the capital of Wessex...

, could launch offensive attacks against the foreigners. Edward was allied with the Mercians under his sister Æthelfleda, and their combined forces were formidable. The allies launched a five-week campaign against Lindsey
Kingdom of Lindsey
Lindsey or Linnuis is the name of a petty Anglo-Saxon kingdom, absorbed into Northumbria in the 7th century.It lay between the Humber and the Wash, forming its inland boundaries from the course of the Witham and Trent rivers , and the Foss Dyke between...

 in 909, and successfully captured the relics of Saint
A saint is a holy person. In various religions, saints are people who are believed to have exceptional holiness.In Christian usage, "saint" refers to any believer who is "in Christ", and in whom Christ dwells, whether in heaven or in earth...

 Oswald of Northumbria
Oswald of Northumbria
Oswald was King of Northumbria from 634 until his death, and is now venerated as a Christian saint.Oswald was the son of Æthelfrith of Bernicia and came to rule after spending a period in exile; after defeating the British ruler Cadwallon ap Cadfan, Oswald brought the two Northumbrian kingdoms of...


The battle

The Vikings quickly sought retaliation for the Northern excursion. In 910, the Danelaw Kings assembled a fleet and transported a Danish army, via the River Severn
River Severn
The River Severn is the longest river in Great Britain, at about , but the second longest on the British Isles, behind the River Shannon. It rises at an altitude of on Plynlimon, Ceredigion near Llanidloes, Powys, in the Cambrian Mountains of mid Wales...

, directly into the heart of Mercia. There they ravaged the land and collected large amounts of valuable plunder, but quickly sought to return North rather than be trapped in hostile territory. They knew King Edward was away, massing a fleet of ships in Kent
Kingdom of Kent
The Kingdom of Kent was a Jutish colony and later independent kingdom in what is now south east England. It was founded at an unknown date in the 5th century by Jutes, members of a Germanic people from continental Europe, some of whom settled in Britain after the withdrawal of the Romans...

. However, to the surprise of the Danes, the King met with his Mercian allies and moved to surround the raiders. The Vikings' found their way to Bridgnorth
Bridgnorth is a town in Shropshire, England, along the Severn Valley. It is split into Low Town and High Town, named on account of their elevations relative to the River Severn, which separates the upper town on the right bank from the lower on the left...

 was blocked by the allied army. Unable to reach their exit route to the sea, and pursued through hostile land by Edward and Aethelfleda's forces, they were forced to choose battle.

While little is known of the exact maneuvers employed at the battle, it is obvious the allies trapped their Viking opponents and inflicted heavy casualties on them. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle
Anglo-Saxon Chronicle
The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle is a collection of annals in Old English chronicling the history of the Anglo-Saxons. The original manuscript of the Chronicle was created late in the 9th century, probably in Wessex, during the reign of Alfred the Great...

 states that "many thousands of men" were killed, referring to the Danes. Seemingly unable to retreat, the Kings leading the Viking raid were both killed by the allied troops.


With the Northern Danes subdued, the forces of Wessex and Mercia could be focused against those who had settled further South. It was also the defeat of the last great raiding army from Denmark to ravage England. With allied strength rising, England was soon united under one domestic monarch
A monarch is the person who heads a monarchy. This is a form of government in which a state or polity is ruled or controlled by an individual who typically inherits the throne by birth and occasionally rules for life or until abdication...

, and Danish expansion was quelled permanently. However, a power vacuum was created in the North. Vikings in Ireland saw their chance to occupy Northern England and did so.
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