During this period England emerged as a recognisable nation and Christianity became established. The recent coronation of Charles III is the latest for a king of England: over a thousand years ago, that of the Saxon King Edgar was the first. King Alfred was the central Saxon figure, the only king to be called ‘Great’. He was responsible for defeating the Vikings who threatened to control the country for many years through raids and then attempts to conquer. The Saxon period is often called the Dark Ages but many think this is unfair as the Saxons were skilled craftsmen who introduced new long-lasting systems of keeping law and order as well as memorable literature.

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