Battle of Guoloph

The Battle of Guoloph took place in the 5th century. Various dates have been put forward: 440 AD by Alfred Anscombe,[1] 437 AD according to John Morris,[2] and 458 by Nikolai Tolstoy.[3] It took place at what is now Nether Wallop, 15 kilometers southeast of Amesbury, in the district of Test Valley, northeastern Hampshire. The battle pitted a Britonnic alliance against invading Jutes and Saxons. The Britons were victorious.

Battle of Guoloph
Part of the Anglo-Saxon settlement of Britain

Britain in the 5th century CE, showing the gradual influx of Anglo-Saxon settlements in eastern portion of the isles.
Datec. 437–440
Result Briton victory
Commanders and leaders
Ambrosius Aurelianus Vitalinus


In his book, Historia Brittonum, Nennius affirms that "The reign of Vortigern, and the fight between Vitalinus and Ambrosius in Guoloppum, the Battle of Guoloph, are separated by twelve years".

In the 12th century A.D. (largely fictitious) pseudo-history written by Geoffrey of Monmouth – the Historia Regum BritanniaeAmbrosius Aurelianus (Emrys Wledig, the imperator) is considered the son of the emperor Constantine. Geoffrey of Monmouth states that while Ambrosius was a child, his entire family was assassinated with only him and his brother Uthyr Pendragon making their escape via a canal at the court of their cousin, Budic I of Brittany. This attack was allegedly perpetrated by Vortigern, governor of the city of Dubris, one of the most important ports in the kingdom. Vortigern had formed a pact with the powerful Jute kings, Hengist and Horsa.[4]

Years later, Ambrosius returned to Great Britain, disembarking at Totnes (Devon), a reunion of the monarchs of all the kingdoms of the south with the purpose of forging alliances and solving collective problems. It was there that he was able to convince the Romano-British leaders of the Jute menace and of their alliance between Vortigern.


  1. Anscombe, Alfred, "The Exordium of the 'Annales Cambriae", in: Ériu 3 (1907), p. 117–134.
  2. Morris, John R. 1980. "Nennius: British History and the Welsh Annals". History from the Sources 8, Chichester: Phillimore.
  3. Tolstoy, Nikolai. 1962. "Nennius, Chapter Fifty-Six". Bulletin of the Board of Celtic Studies 19:118–162.
  4. Whilst some authors categorize them as Saxons, they were originally from Jutland. They led a combined force of Saxons, Jutes and Britons and established themselves in Kent as a Jute faction. ("Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-04-16. Retrieved 2012-06-18.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link), "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-12-16. Retrieved 2012-06-18.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link), , Kings and Kingdoms of Early Anglo-Saxon England de Barbara Yorke, History of England, de Charles W. Oman, The origin of the English, Germanic, and Scandinavian languages, and nations, Longman, etc.).


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