Plaque to be unveiled for Warrior Queen

Outgoing Warwick mayor Cllr Moira-Ann Grainger will unveil a plaque dedicated to the Anglo-Saxon warrior queen who founded the town.

The unveiling for the plaque commemorating Aethelflaed and the 1,100th anniversary of the establishment of Warwick as a town will take place in Castle Street by the entrance to Pageant Gardens at 4pm on Monday.

The bronze relief plaque has been produced with funding from Warwick Town Council and Henry VIII Endowed Trust and the mayor and councillors as well as the chairman of the trustees and fellow trustees are inviting all members of the public to attend the ceremony.

This will be one of Cllr Grainger’s final engagements as mayor before handing over to mayor elect, Cllr Mandy Littlejohn on Thursday May 21.

Dark Age Warwick & the Warrior Queen, written by Warwick District Council’s heritage and arts manager Jeff Watkin, explores the story behind the foundation in autumn AD 914 of a fortress which grew into the town of Warwick.

The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, the main contemporary record, tells us that Warwick was one of several fortresses built by Aethelflaed, ruler of Anglo-Saxon Mercia, to secure her kingdom in the West Midlands and to fend off the Vikings.

The book also considers whether Aethelflaed’s fortress was truly the origins of Warwick.

Among the evidence studied by Mr Watkin is some for much earlier settlements, including one in existence before the Roman conquest.

Other documents hint of a Christian minster long before the arrival of Aethelflaed, who was the Wessex daughter of King Alfred the Great.

Copies of the book cost £5 at the Art Gallery and Museum and Waterstones in Leamington and St Mary’s church, the visitor information centre, Warwick Books and Market Place Museum in Warwick.