Wessex

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One of the seven kingdoms from which England was formed in about the 9th Century. Wessex is situated in the south and south west of the country. There are conflicting legends regarding the foundation of the Kingdom, involving Cerdic and Cynric, or Port and his son, plus a later mention of the 'West Saxons'. The expansion of Wessex into present day Devon lead to the increase in the Wessex kings power. The Burghal system under Alfred the Great helped to prevent the overrunning of the south of England by the Danish invaders.(Vikings?)
Winchester was said to be the capital, but other major settlements existed...


There is some evidence that kingship in Wessex was not rigidly hereditary. The strongest candidate from the pool of the senior families was elected or forced his control on the lesser kings. The internal feuding produced by this may have led to the delayed rise of Wessex as a full kingdom, but this is conjecture. ...more info required...

It's northern boundary was probably the River Thames, and its heartland was the presentday counties of Hampshire, Wiltshire, Dorset, Somerset and maybe Devon.

Wessex was used by Thomas Hardy in his novels as an imaginary but parallel area of Southern England.

The Heptarchy:

Minor Kingdoms or domains...