King Alfred


Categories Our Country Lives
Theme(s) Arts and crafts,
Local history
Collection Strawcraft and Thatching Objects
Date 1961
Object number 61/201
  • Description

If you think this figure has a regal air about him, you would not be wrong.

This is a straw ‘sculpture’ of the Anglo-Saxon King Alfred. Originally, the figure had a wooden sword in one hand and a straw scroll in the other, representing both the warrior and the scholar. It is actually one of three figures made by master thatcher Jesse Maycock for the annual University College ball, Oxford, in 1961. One figure was a seated King Alfred, while the other was William Archdeacon of Durham, the founder of the College in 1247. Jesse created King Alfred using the same techniques involved in making a thatched roof, where straw or reeds are used protect the top of a building.