Fragment of Saxon cross

Contributed by All Saints Appeal Kingston

Fragment of Saxon cross

Kingston upon Thames, or Cyninges-tun as it was known in Saxon times, plays an important part in Anglo-Saxon history, for two main reasons. First, in 838 AD King Egbert of Wessex held a Great Council at Kingston. Second, Kingston was the site of the coronation of at least two, and possibly as many as seven, Saxon Kings, including Athelstan, crowned in 925 and generally regarded as the first man who could be called King of England. Both events took place on the site now occupied by All Saints Church, the earliest parts of which are Norman.

This picture is of a fragment of stone found when All Saints was being restored in Victorian times. Enough remains to show that its two sides were decorated with elaborately contrived interlaced patterns carved in relief. These make it almost certain that the stone once formed part of the shaft of a tall stone cross. The decoration is so worn and incomplete as to make only the most approximate dating possible, but the cross was probably erected at some time between the late 7th and the early 11th century, so it is possible that it would have been standing at the time of the coronation of Athelstan, or even at the Great Council of 838.

Comments are closed for this object

Most of the content on A History of the World is created by the contributors, who are the museums and members of the public. The views expressed are theirs and unless specifically stated are not those of the BBC or the British Museum. The BBC is not responsible for the content of any external sites referenced. In the event that you consider anything on this page to be in breach of the site’s House Rules please Flag This Object.

About this object

Click a button to explore other objects in the timeline


Kingston upon Thames


View more objects from people in London.

Find out more

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.