Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Alfred's Bequeath

In about 880 Alfred the Great bequeathed the town to his nephew Ethelwold, and it began to develop as a defensive and commercial centre. Guildford was a royal mint town until 1100, and the earliest known charters of Guildford are dated 1257.Guildford, the county town of Surrey, is a small market town in Southern England, halfway between London and Portsmouth.
Surrey, unlike many other English counties, can not be traced back to an ancient kingdom. Surrey, was first mentioned in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle as Suthrige, the Southern District of Middlesex, the land of the Middle Saxons.
Guildford, the town of the ford, is located in a gap in the North Downs where the River Wey breaks through the hills. An ancient trackway followed the North Downs and descended to a ford a little to the south of the town centre. This route was in use as late as the 18th century. The trackway can still be found, deeply cut into the hillside. At the place of crossing a small chalk spring flows into the River Wey.
The Saxons established a site on the east of the river, which later grew into a larger site on the west bank of the river around the site of St Mary's Church.
Guildford was left in the will of King Alfred to his nephew Ethelwold. Ethelwold later revolted against Alfred's successor and as a result lost his property

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