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Share Email Post. This Anglo-Saxon jewel was probably part of an aestel or pointer and was made during the reign of Alfred, who became king at a time of change in Britain. Alfred's achievements in diplomacy and warfare with the Vikings and in education and culture make him the only English king or queen to be called 'the Great'. For a small unfunded museum this, I found, the museum to be exceptional.

File:King Alfred’s Jewel—front, enamel, - Wikipedia

As a newcomer to the area, I learnt a great deal about how the geography and ancient trails and villages. Came here with the other NCT ladies and their babies making 5 prams and 5 occasionally noisy screams but we were made to feel very welcome. There is plenty of space for buggies and the other baby paraphernalia along with an excellent cafe- recommend the mocha. Didn't explore the rest of the building, maybe next time! Went to Wantage for a day out and came upon the local museum tucked away in a side road. This must be one of the best museums I have visited. Everything well laid out with plenty of information about each section.

Good interactive displays which children especially would like.

On the ground floor is a very pleasant cafe,book stall,gift shop and tourist information section regarding the Wantage area. I found the staff very friendly and helpful. I will definitely be visiting again soon. Interesting place to visit. I have lived in Wantage many years ,but still learnt lots about my home town. Lovely little cafe with homemade snacks and lunches.

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The Alfred Jewel: Dazzling Anglo-Saxon Treasure Found in a Field in the South of England

The victory gave Alfred leverage in the upcoming negotiations. He managed to negotiate the Vikings to leave the land north and east of a line across England. The King managed to secure his lands, and spent much of his reign strengthening his army and naval defense. Alfred is important to British history not just because he was great ruler.

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He advocated justice and order, and established a code of laws. He was a great diplomat as well, managing to secure a marriage between his daughter and the leader of Mercia. That move consolidated the alliance, and his reign.

Who was King Alfred?

As mentioned at the beginning, there were many theories about what is the purpose of the jewel. The prevailing theory is that the jewel served as the handle for a pointer stick for following words when reading a book.

Alfred Jewel

Some other theories suggested that the jewel was used as a pendant, or as a centerpiece of royal headdress. But Alfred believed in the importance of education, one of the reasons why the pointer stick theory prevails. He wrote about gaining inner wisdom through the eyes of the mind and believed literacy provides wisdom. The King translated several religious texts from Latin to Old English to help spread wisdom more widely.

He also arranged translation for copies. When he sent copies of the Pastoral Care of Pope Gregory the Great, he also sent precious jewels to bishops. Mancus was a term used in medieval Europe to describe a gold coin.