Historical Context Edit
The Kingdom of Mercia was created in the early 600s AD, with Tamworth as the “royal center” under its first recorded king, Penda. By the reign of King Offa, it was the official capital of England’s central and largest kingdom. But its size and location didn’t help much when the Danish Vikings showed up. In 868 Viking invaders, looking to stay awhile, occupied the vital Mercian town of Nottingham. As part of the Danes’ campaign to drive the king of Mercia (one Burgred) out, the Vikings sacked Tamworth in 874. The place remained a ruin until 913, when Aethellaed – the so-called “Lady of the Mercians” – had it rebuilt and made it her principle residence. In 926, Tamworth Church served as site for the marriage of King Aethelstan’s sister to Sitric Caech, the Norse king of Dublin and Northumbria. In 1016 Mercia, its days of glory well past, was given over to Cnut.