King Athelstan - 924 ~ 2024

Why is he buried in Malmesbury?

William of Malmesbury considered that Athelstan chose to be buried at Malmesbury because of his devotion to the cult of Saint Aldhelm who was his relative. This makes sense and is consistent with what we know about Athelstan’s intense piety and interest in religion. It has also been suggested that he chose Malmesbury for an additional political reason. Malmesbury was on the border between Wessex and Mercia and was originally founded as a joint West-Saxon and Mercian foundation. Authentic charters issued at the time of Aldhelm indicate that the monastery was jointly patronised and protected by West Saxon and Mercian kings. By choosing Malmesbury Athelstan was perhaps signalling that he saw himself as the king of the West Saxons, the Mercians and all the English.