1. Alfred the Great is best remembered for his victories against the Vikings. At that time, his kingdom, Wessex, was the only one not to have been attacked by the Vikings.
2. Legend has it that while hiding from the Vikings in a cowherd’s hut on a marshy island in Somerset, Alfred was scolded by the man’s wife for letting her loaves (or ‘cakes’) burn.
3. Alfred is the only English monarch to be known as ‘the Great’.
4. Alfred once disguised himself as a minstrel to sneak into a Viking camp to spy on them. Armed with his harp, he dazzled the Danes with tunes he had learnt as boy, and stayed at the camp for several days.
5. It’s believed that Alfred suffered from what we now know as Crohn's disease – a type of inflammatory bowel disease that causes abdominal pain, diarrhoea, weight loss and fatigue.
6. He was buried in Winchester but his bones were moved several times and some were lost. It is thought that his pelvic bone was found in 2014.
7. Alfred was born Wantage, Oxfordshire, in 849 and became king of Wessex in 871. He died on 26 October 899.
8) Alfred was a learned scholar, judge, administrator and he introduced a fair legal system.
9. His three older brothers were kings before him - Ethelbald, Ethelbert and Ethelred - but all died young.
10. He is the originator of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles. Which is enough for him to be known as 'the Great' as far as I'm concerned.