Wessex is the name for the kingdom of the West Saxons from the 6th century up until the Norman Conquest. It encompassed Gloucestershire, Wiltshire, Dorset, Somerset and parts of Hampshire and according to the Anglo Saxon Chronicle, was founded by the Gewisse chieftains Cerdic and Cynric who are said to have landed on the Hampshire coast and conquered the surrounding area. By the 9th century Sussex, Surrey, Essex and Kent
were annexed and Wessex became the dominant Anglo-Saxon kingdom.
Wessex avoided most of the Viking raids of the 9th century but was attacked by the Great Army of the Danes in 871 CE who were finally repelled in 878 CE. Alfred, king of Wessex brokered a peace treaty securing Wessex from further attack. By the 11th century however, Wessex had lost some of its power to Danelaw and had become an Earldom rather than a Kingdom. The last English king to be crowned before the Norman Conquest was Harold Godwinson, earl of Wessex.
The Wessex District of the Pagan Federation has within it many sacred places. We are steeped in history including the legend of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, Stonehenge, Avebury, Glastonbury Tor and Stanton Drew.
We have the ancient City of Bath - home to Minerva. The first king of England was crowned at Bath Abbey - and if you look very carefully there are two examples of Green Men carved into the pews within the Abbey. Of course we have the Roman Baths - a temple to Minerva / Sulis.
Stonehenge, Avebury and Glastonbury are famous everywhere, but there is a magnificent but less known stone circle at Stanton Drew.