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Aelle and the South Saxons

(477AD - 491AD )



Background

Extracts From the Saxon Chronicles (written about 890AD)
for further details see the Vortigern Studies.

Further more detailed conjectures of the Saxon era can be found on the Nothgyth Quest author David Slaughter.

Date

Description

477. Aelle came to Britain and his three sons Cymen Wlencing and Cyssa, with three ships, landing at a place which is named Cymensora. There they killed many Welsh, and drove some in flight into AndredsWeald.
Original :- Her cuom Ęlle on Bretenlond & his .iii. suna, Cymen & Wlencing & Cissa, mid .iii. scipum on ža stowe že is nemned Cymenesora, & žęr ofslogon monige Wealas & sume on fleame bedrifon on žone wudu že is genemned Andredesleage.
485. Aelle fought the Welsh near the landing place at Mearcredesburnan.
Original :- Her Ęlle gefeaht wiž Walas neah Mearcrędesburnan stęše.
491. Aelle and Cyssa besieged Anderida , near Pevensey, and killed all who were inside, so there was not one Briton left.
Original :- Her Ęlle, Cissa ymbsęton Andredescester, ofslogon alle ža že žęrinne eardedon; ne wearž žęr foržon an Bret to lafe.
495. There came two eaorlmen to Britain, Cerdic and Cynric his son, with five ships, to a place called Cerdicesora, on the same day they fought the Welsh.
Original :- Her cuomon twegen aldormen on Bretene, Cerdic , Cynric his sunu, mid .v. scipum in žone stede že is gecueden Cerdicesora, žy ilcan dęge gefuhtun wiž Walum.
501. Port came to Britain with his two sons, Bieda and Maegia, and two ships, to the place called Portsmouth, and killed a young British man, a noble.
Original :- Her cuom Port on Bretene, his .ii. suna Bieda, Męgla mid .ii. scipum on žęre stowe že is gecueden Portesmuža, ofslogon anne giongne brettiscmonnan, swiže ęželne monnan.
508. This year Cerdic and Cynric killed a British King named Natanleod, and five thousand men with him. After that the land was known as Natanleag up to Cedicesford.
Original :- Her Cerdic & Cynric ofslogon ęnne brettisccyning, žam was nama Natanleod, .v. žusendu wera mid him. Ęfter was žęt lond nemned Natanleaga ož Cerdicesford.
514. The West-Saxons came to Briton with 3 ships to a place called Cerdicesora and in the same year they fought the Britons and put them to flight.
Original :- Her cuomon Westseaxe in Bretene mid .iii. scipum in ža stowe že is gecueden Cerdicesora, & Stuf & Wihtgar, & fuhton wiž Brettas & hie gefliemdon
519. Cerdic and Cynric received the West-Saxon kingdom, and the same year they fought with the Britons, in a place now called Cerdicesford. The royal line of Wessex ruled from that day.
Original :- Her Certic & Kynric onfengon Westseaxna rice, & ži ilcan geare hi gefuhton wiš Bryttas šer man nu nemnaš Certicesford; & siššan rixadon Westseaxna cynebarn of žam dęge.

Comments

Note:- the terms 'British' and 'Welsh' were used interchangeably, as the word 'Welsh' is the Saxon word meaning 'foreigner', this was used to describe all the native British of the era.


Assumptions in no particular order
1. Aelle was a sailor and sailors like to be near the sea.
2. The Sea Level was about 10 - 15ft higher in Anglo Saxon times than today, making the coastline significantly different.
Please see our Cinque Ports and Romney Marsh pages.
3. The forest of Andredsweald was very difficult to negotiate, it started behind the South Downs spreading from Hampshire through to Kent.
Therefore most settlements were near the coast or estuaries at this time.
4. The Anglo Saxon chronicles are a reasonably correct representation of these historical events, even though it was written 400 years later.
5. The Anglo Saxon chronicles were incorrect in naming one of Aelle's sons - the suffix ing applied to Wlencing would describe his family or followers.
Therefore the sons name should have been Wlenca or Wlanca.



Village memories
477 AD The first problem is that Aelle landed at Cymensora (Cymen's beach).
There are no current places of that name, however if the Saxons settled at Cymensora they could have created a settlement called Cymensoraham( ham is an Anglo Saxon suffix for an enclosure or settlement). Further on in time this could have been mutated to Cymen soraham then soraham and finally Shoreham .

Across the river a second settlement took place by Wlenca's family and was named Wlencing (Wlenca and his followers/family), which would now be Lancing(This is believed to be true by other historians)

The family of Aelle now explores along the coast towards the East and West from Shoreham.

485 AD Aelle fought the welsh at Mercredesburna
This is slightly incorrect as the actual place was Mercraedesburna staede(Merc raedes burna staede - the landing point next to a boundary on a stream). This over the years could have been split to Mercraedes Burnasteade, then to Burnastede then Benestede in the Domesday book of 1086AD and finally to Binsted. Today Binsted is well inland, but at the time would have been on the coast, and is also on a stream. (This location works well in the timeline for the next assumption).

Cissa, one of Aelle's sons now carries on to the West and captures the old Roman town of Noviomagus and names it Cissa Ceaster(Cissa's Fort) which now has changed to Chichester. This would make a good western boundary point for Aelle.

The Saxons now explore to the east heading up the Ouse valley and settle on the Malling Hill (Maellingaes - Aella's people) where the current South Malling lies. The likelyhood is that the legends of a Battle near Mount Caburn were probably due to the Saxons defeating the Welsh near Mount Caburn. The Saxons would have been able to sail up the Ouse valley beyond Lewes as it would have been a tidal estuary at the time.

The exploration would have continued past the Ouse to the Cuckmere valley, again a tidal estuary where they could have sailed up past Alfriston (It is possible that Alfriston derives from Aelle Fyrst tun (Aelle's first village). It is very likely that the area became controlled by the Saxons from the high land at High and Over, which provides panoramic views to the coast, and a very good defensive location.

491 AD Aelle and Cyssa besieged Anderida the old Roman fort at Pevensey, and killed all who were inside, so there was not one Briton left. The South Saxons, Aelle's people now control the land from Chichester to Pevensey.

495. There came two eaorlmen to Britain, Cerdic and Cynric his son, with five ships, to a place called Cerdicesora, on the same day they fought the Welsh.
Cerdicesora is probably the current Calshot as its derivation is as follows 980 AD Celcesoran, 1000 Celcesord/Celceshord, 1300 Calchesores , 1347 Calchesorde, then Caldshore finally Calshot.

501 AD Port came to Britain with his two sons, Bieda and Maegia, and two ships, to the place called Portsmouth. This landing has probably blocked Aelle from spreading much futher west, as he would probably not waged war on his fellow Saxons, and with Cerdic further to the west the expansion westward would have ceased.

508. This year Cerdic and Cynric killed a British King named Natanleod, and five thousand men with him. After that the land was known as Natanleag up to Cedicesford (this most likely became the boundary between the Britons and the West Saxons).
Cerdicesford is probably the current day Chandlers Ford.


Please Note this article may not be absolutely true and at present cannot be proved , but does provides an educated reference to Aelle and the South Saxons.

Further more detailed conjectures of the Saxon era can be found on the Nothgyth Quest author David Slaughter.

Villages Referenced

Alfriston  -   (Smuggling and Ghosts)
Arlington  -   (Peaceful Saxon Village)
Ashburnham  -   (Last iron furnace in Sussex)
Beddingham  -   (At the base of Mount Caburn)
Chalvington  -   (The miniature church)
Chiddingly  -   (Walking on Cheese ??)
Clayton  -   (Jack and Jill Windmills)
Dichling  -  
East Dean  -   (Fishing and Wrecking)
Exceat  -   (Alfred the Great's Naval Base?)
Fletching  -   (Simon de Montfort and Jack Cade)
Folkington  -   (Teasles and Badgers)
Hailsham  -   (Ropes and Napoleon)
Hamsey  -   (Abandoned Saxon Island)
Hastings Old Town  -   (The ancient Cinque Port)
Hellingly  -   (Only remaining Ciric in Sussex)
Jevington  -   (Smugglers and Churchill Tanks)
Litlington  -   (Secret marriage of George IV)
Lullington  -   (destroyed by Cromwell ??)
Ninfield  -   (Last of the Iron Stocks)
Old Winchelsea  -   (Abandoned after the Great Storm)
Penhurst  -   (Beautiful yet Remote)
Pevensey  -   (Ancient Roman Fortification)
Ringmer  -   (Poor Roads and riots)
Selmeston  -   (Tomb to store the Contraband)
Tarring Neville  -   (The Chest from the Spanish Armarda)
Westham  -   (Enclosure for the Castle)
West Malling  -  
Wilmington  -   (The Long Man)
Winchelsea  -   (Inland Cinque Port !!)
Winchelsea Beach  -   (Holidaymakers and Henry VIIIs Fort)

 
       
 
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