UK Genealogy Archives logo

Athelney, Somerset

Historical Description

Athelney, a quondam island in Lyng parish, Somerset, with a station on the G.W.R, 150 miles from London, and 4A-WNW of Langport. The quondam island is a rising-ground, or small hill, of about 100 acres, surrounded by marshes, at the confluence of the rivers Tone and Parret. King Alfred took refuge here, in 879, after his defeat by the Danes; made frequent incursions hence against them till he became able to take the field for their complete overthrow; and founded here, in 888, a Benedictine abbey, in expression of gratitude for his victories. The abbot did not sit in Parliament, yet enjoyed great privileges, and was regarded as a spiritual lord. The edifice is extinct, but recent' traces of it show it to have been large. A stone pillar, with an appropriate inscription, was erected on the spot, in 1801, by Sir John Slade, the then proprietor. An amulet of enamel and gold, inscribed with words signifying " Alfred caused me to be made," was found on Athelney in the seventeenth century, and is now in the Ashmolean Museum.

Transcribed from The Comprehensive Gazetteer of England & Wales, 1894-5

Church Records, in association with Somerset Archives & Local Studies, have images of the Parish Registers for Somerset online.


Online maps of Athelney are available from a number of sites:

Newspapers and Periodicals

The British Newspaper Archive have fully searchable digitised copies of the following Somerset papers online:

Visitations Heraldic

The Visitation of Somersetshire, 1623 is available on the Heraldry page.

DistrictTaunton Deane
RegionSouth West
Postal districtTA7
Post TownBridgwater