The Anglo-Saxon who (almost) united Britain
In AD 675, the Northumbrian ruler Ecgfrith was so powerful that he effectively made himself 'high-king' of Britain. Nick Higham introduces a true heavyweight of early English history
On Saturday 20 May AD 685, St Cuthbert was with Iurmenburh, Northumbria’s queen, at Carlisle, when he had a vision of Iurmenburh’s husband, Ecgfrith, dying at the hands of the Picts. A few days later, “they heard that it was announced far and wide that a wretched and lamentable battle had taken place at the very day and hour it was revealed to him”.