Fragment of Saxon cross

7b450319849ac0e8dd16c8b97c76ba7e7653a4ce“Kingston upon Thames, or Cyninges-tun as it was known in Saxon times, plays an important part in Anglo-Saxon history, for two main reasons. First, in 838 AD King Egbert of Wessex held a Great Council at Kingston. Second, Kingston was the site of the coronation of at least two, and possibly as many as seven, Saxon Kings, including Athelstan, crowned in 925 and generally regarded as the first man who could be called King of England. Both events took place on the site now occupied by All Saints Church, the earliest parts of which are Norman.

This picture is of a fragment of stone found when All Saints was being restored in Victorian times. Enough remains to show that its two sides were decorated with elaborately contrived interlaced patterns carved in relief. These make it almost certain that the stone once formed part of the shaft of a tall stone cross. The decoration is so worn and incomplete as to make only the most approximate dating possible, but the cross was probably erected at some time between the late 7th and the early 11th century, so it is possible that it would have been standing at the time of the coronation of Athelstan, or even at the Great Council of 838″.

 

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