This post is adapted from my book, King Alfred: A Man on the Move, available from Amazon.
Swinbeorg is an unidentified location that is mentioned in Alfred’s will where he describes an assembly having taken place at which inheritance matters were discussed. Although this might seem quite mundane there are limited places where we might be able to pin the location of Alfred down quite precisely. If we could find this location it would in fact therefore be quite exciting! The context of the entry in his will indicates that this meeting would have taken place when King Alfred’s brother Æthelred was still alive but after the Viking emergency commenced (i.e. between 870 and the summer of 871). It has been speculated that this would have been at the presumed Anglo-Saxon meeting place called Swanborough Tump near Manningford Abbots in the former Swanborough Hundred in Wiltshire.
Although this seems tempting, the vowel change is problematic as even in 987 the place-name began with “Swan” and not “Swin.” However, I am not aware of any other proposed location so it seems that this site could indeed be Swinbeorg. A plaque at the location indeed decares this to be the case! It is worth noting, though, that there was a Suaneberge Hundred in Sussex, and this location cannot be ruled out.
The site is easy to visit, being at the roadside on a quiet Wiltshire country lane. It is west of Pewsey and is marked on Ordnance Survey maps.
There is much more about the travels of King Alfred in my book, including maps and references. Tap or click the image below to learn more about the book.