Aethelfleda of Mercia (Aethelflaed)
died c. 918
Aethelfleda was the daughter of Alfred the Great, and wife of Aethelred, ealdorman of Mercia. Together with her husband Aethelfleda led the Mercian resistance to the Danes after Alfred's death.
When her husband died, Aethelfleda ruled the Mercians in her own right, a testament to her leadership qualities in an era of warlike male leaders. And Aethlefleda was no figurehead; she led the Mercians to victories over the Danes and the Welsh.
She also continued her father's policy of establishing burh (burghs), or fortified towns, throughout the Midlands to counter the Danish threat. Among the burhs established by Aethelfleda was the town of Tamworth. She also rebuilt the important church of St John the Baptist in Chestater, and was responsible for the first major fortification at Warwick Castle.
Time period(s): Saxon