The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle is a collection of
Nine manuscripts survive in whole or in part, though not all are of equal historical value and none of them is the original version. The oldest seems to have been started towards the end of Alfred's reign, while the most recent was written at
The Chronicle is not unbiased: there are occasions when comparison with other medieval sources makes it clear that the scribes who wrote it omitted events or told one-sided versions of stories; there are also places where the different versions contradict each other. Taken as a whole, however, the Chronicle is the single most important historical source for the period in
Seven of the nine surviving manuscripts and fragments now reside in the
All of the surviving manuscripts are copies, so it is not known for certain where or when the first version of the Chronicle was composed. It is generally agreed that the original version – sometimes known as the Early English Annals
 – was written in the late 9th century by a scribe in Wessex.
The earliest extant manuscript, the Winchester Chronicle, was written by a single scribe up to the year 891. The scribe wrote the year number, DCCCXCII, in the margin of the next line; subsequent material was written by other scribes.
 This appears to place the composition of the chronicle at no later than 892; further evidence is provided by Bishop