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Although an old round table was once pulled out of the River Parrett, the village can claim no links with King Arthur, but the Parrett has always been a boundary. Iron Age defences have been found in Athelney, and the river would have been an important defence for the Celts against the Saxon invaders. There is also a difference in dialect and place names between the two sides of the river.
King Alfred, however, certainly made use of the marshy defences of the Isle of Athelney in preparation for his final successful battle against the Danish leader Guthrum at Edington in 878 AD. Following this he baptised Guthrum in the church at Aller in the next parish.
We have little information on later conflicts on land or sea, although a series of letters have been found sent by a member of the Coate family who served in the Boer War.
What Alfred's Stronghold might have looked like