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January 8, 871 - Saxon forces under Prince Alfred defeat the Danes at the Battle of Ashdown. Emerging from a defeat at Reading, the Saxon forces of Wessex rallied on Berkshire Downs under the command of King Ethelred and Prince Alfred. Gathering at Ashdown House and Hardwell Camp, the Saxons prepared for battle as the Danes concentrated their army at Uffington Castle. Meeting near a gnarled tree on January 8, both sides formed for battle. During this lull, King Ethelred left the field to attend prayers at nearby Aston. Seeing that the Danes had occupied a superior position, Alfred quickly realized that the Saxons would have to attack first if they were to have any hope for victory. Opting not to wait for his brother to return, he ordered their men forward. In the bloody battle that ensued, the men from Wessex were victorious, however the result proved pyrrhic as casualties were high and Saxons were defeated several times in the coming weeks.


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