Burnley

Please note this is the work of ‘CBebenezer’ and can be found here: http://www.archive.org/details/BattleOfBrunanburgh

Walton Spire built in Victorian times is rumoured to be erected on an ancient battle stone dating back to the Battle of Brunanburgh. Again it is thought that the battle stone is, in effect a gravestone marking a mass burial site for those that died in the battle.

A.D.937, King Athelstan finally defeated the Danes who had been raiding the Land for many years, at the Battle of Brunanburgh. Some experts believe that this battle took place on the Hurstwood and Worsthorne moorlands above Burnley in Lancashire where the River Brun has its source.  The name of this battle could be translated as meaning “on the brown banks” or even “fortification on the brown banks”.  Whatever the truth may be, after the battle, Burnley belonged to the King of England.  He appointed bailiffs to look after it, to collect taxes, to administer justice and to control what happened there. After AD 937 the people of Burnley were no longer entirely free men. Building and settlement were controlled and some of the riches of the land were creamed off for the King.

On the outskirts of Burnley, possible battle-sites have been suggested.
Local folklore tells of a Great Battle which was fought in ancient times in the hills above Burnley with tales of the River Brun flowing red with blood.
There has also been tales of farmers ploughing up various pieces of weaponry said to date from this Great Battle.  Whilst these may be “stories and folklore”, history dictates that there is always an element of truth in there somewhere.

One traditional story states that the Hill of Shelfield (north of Burnley) was supposedly the site of a battle in Saxon times. Nearby is a large mound which is either a glacial deposit or according to the story, it is the Knaves Hill or mound beneath which the warriors killed in the Battle were buried. One account states that Shelfield Hill was once the site of an ancient camp. The site is now known as Walton Spire which was erected in Victorian times on top of a stone marker of unknown date.