It was January of 878. The dead of British winter – and Alfred was running. Through fields, past hamlets, keeping out of sight whenever he could. He ran. He headed for the Somerset Levels. This was a coastal plane during the 9th century – a dense network of impassable marshes. It wasn’t ideal, but at least Alfred would be difficult to find there. Much like the Fens had protected East Anglia from numerous over-land invasions, Alfred hoped the nigh impenetrable swamps of Somerset would grant him safety.
And so he ran.