list of anglo saxon burhs

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Burhs were fortified towns or forts in Anglo-Saxon England, built as a defence against the Vikings, as well as being strategically offensive against positions held by the Vikings. However, as noted above, the ‘B’ recensions do not list Burpham, Wareham and Bridport, it is likely that their common archetype must have missed them also. They worshipped gods of nature and held springs, wells, rocks, and trees in reverence. What, where and why were the Anglo Saxon Burhs so important? A fully-resourced unit of 10 history lessons for KS2, covering the Anglo-Saxon topic. The Burgal Hidage survives in two versions of medieval and early modern date. "Athelstan's urban reforms. Illustrated Dictionary of Church History & Architecture. Mar 11, 2017 - Anglo-Saxon burghs (burhs). Although the classic burhs, such as Wallingford, Cricklade and Oxford, are of a comparatively large size, certain of the settlements listed in the Burghal Hidage are significantly smaller. [Stenton, F. For example, you might pray to a particular goddess for a successful harvest, or for victory in battle. Second, the Roman towns had basic fortifications in place. Anglo-Saxon Burhs. There may have been other unrecorded refortified burhs from this time, at Warburton (Cheshire) and furthest north of all at Penwortham (SW of Preston) on the river Ribble. Although frequently the main street was reused, as at Chichester and Winchester, the Saxons often built their houses upon the firm foundations of the Roman street, with the new streets running alongside. These burhs were located primarily along the coast and the borders of Alfred's lands. Towns were then important trading hubs and burhs were important defensive and protective hubs. Chester and Gloucester are two examples of towns sited at major road intersections, though they were established by Alfred's successors. He advances his argument to propose that the intention of the Burghal Hidage is to provide a method of doing so not for Wessex but for the newly created burh in the reconquered ‘shires’ of Mercia. In areas where the Roman church was strongest (i.e. It consisted of various Anglo-Saxon kingdoms until 927 when it was united as the Kingdom of England by King Æthelstan (r. 927–939). p. 14, Welch. pp. Armouries, blacksmiths, royal mints and trading posts were all located within the burh. However, the fact that nearly half the number of hides in the system were allocated to burhs on the northern border of Wessex with Mercia suggests a context for the creation of this system in the period when Mercia was occupied and controlled by the Vikings. Stenton, F. M. Anglo-Saxon England, (3rd edition. These burhs (or burghs) operated as defensive structures. The Burghal Hidage is an Anglo-Saxon document providing a list of over thirty fortified places (burhs), the majority being in the ancient Kingdom of Wessex, and the taxes (recorded as numbers of hides) assigned for their maintenance. The defining characteristic of this system is that these fortified sites would have all been built at one occasion to serve a single strategic end, in that the functions of all the individual components of the system complemented the functions of each of the others. The Burghal Hidage is the name given to a document which appears to list the burhs, or fortifications, of Wessex circa A.D.920. The Burghal Hidage, the establishment of a text, Grant. [26][27], There have been some problems with the Nowell transcription. Posted by u/[deleted] 1 year ago. Version B also names Worcester and Warwick in an appended list. Of the burhs that have survived as modern towns, little remains to be seen of the Saxon settlements. The received view of the date of this process is that this took place in the 920s or 930s during the reign of King Athelstan. It consisted of various Anglo-Saxon kingdoms until 927 when it was united as the Kingdom of England by King Æthelstan (r. 927–939). Most were not anointed as queens. To Warwick four and 2400 hides” is not part of the foregoing lists and is not included in the ‘grand total’, however it does show that the copyist was changing the numbers from spelled to numerals and then confused himself, i.e. xvii + 480. Creation of the Burhs The creation of the burhs was a well ordered programme which obviously required central planning coupled with expert knowledge of existing conditions. This interpretation is supported by the issue at this time of the special celebratory London Monogram coinage from the London mint, now under the control of Alfred, and by the issue at the same time of coins from Oxford and Gloucester in southern Mercia. Therefore, the archetype of ‘B’ must have included these, as did that of ‘A’. As such, their formation as a system is uniquely appropriate to the political and strategic circumstances obtaining in the late 870s. The Anglo-Saxons were pagans when they came to Britain. "The London Mint in the Reign of Alfred." [19], Work on the minting patterns of the coinage of the period has shown that King Alfred was in control of London and the surrounding area until about 877, exactly the time when the Vikings are recorded as partitioning Mercia and taking control of its eastern extent. These Burhs were mostly built during the reign of Alfred the Great to defend Wessex against the Viking invaders. €168). Yet Alfred was wise enough to realise that his military successes were only temporary. [12] The hide also served as a unit of fiscal assessment for the collection of a tax, known as Danegeld, for which the original purpose was to raise money to buy off raiding Vikings; however after that threat had retreated it was retained as a permanent land-tax. [29], The texts in the Version A and Cotton Otho B.xi are sufficiently similar to show that ultimately they do derive from one source. : You are free: to share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work; to remix – to adapt the work; Under the following conditions: attribution – You must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. Information on the Cotton MSS at the British Library, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Burghal_Hidage&oldid=978555816, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Blackburn, Mark (1998). If you are in London, you can see a full sized replica of the cross at the Victoria and Albert Museum. After listing all the burghs Version A of the Burghal Hidage includes a note: "For the maintenance and defence of an acre’s breadth of wall sixteen hides are required. Related: For many years the country was harassed by internal wars and political power varied with the personality and military success of the local kings. After defeating Guthrum's Vikings at Edington, King Alfred initiated a great programme of building to defend southern England against Viking attack. The Defence of Wessex: The Burghal Hidage and Anglo-Saxon Fortifications. 1 Overview 1.1 Anglo-Saxons 1.2 Alfred 1.2.1 Dawn of Man 2 Unique Attributes 3 Strategy 4 Music 5 … p. 1, Hill. Cities that became Burhs. They comprised people from Germanic tribes who migrated to the island from continental Europe, their descendants, and indigenous British groups who adopted some aspects of Anglo-Saxon culture and language. Mercia, whose best-known ruler, Offa, built Offa's Dyke along the border between Wales and England. One man per hide would be the equivalent of 27,000 men, whereas one man per 5 hides of land would give 5,500 men. There are some earlier, eighth century examples in the kingdom of Mercia. Close. Hill then turns to the second part of the final sentence “and 30 to the West Saxons”, this too is glossed as ‘30,000’ by the copyist ‘6’ so that it seems to refer to hides; but Hill proposes that it refers to the 30 burh; there are in fact 31 of these in the combined lists, but he then proposes that Buckingham (at 1600 hides) is in fact Mercian, that is not of “the West Saxons”, so is not included in the grand total. pp.18-21, E. Lipson, The Economic History of England, 12th ed., vol. The early genealogies are based on the (semi-historical) Anglo-Saxon royal genealogies … The Anglo-Saxons led by Alfred are a custom civilization by JFD and Janboruta, with contributions from Viregel. The Anglo-Saxon community in England was basically a rural one. The ratification of a mutually agreed boundary to the east of London, in Alfred and Guthrum's Treaty, between Guthrum's new Viking kingdom of East Anglia and Alfred's newly won territory, can best be ascribed to this time. [19] Examples of this process can be seen in the replacement of Pilton by Barnstaple, and Halwell by Totnes and Kingsbridge in Devon.[25]. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle (or, better, Chronicles), is a series of annals purporting to record events from the year 494 to 1154. Version B survives as a part of seven further manuscripts, usually given the title De numero hydarum Anglie in Britannia. 27-28, Grant. They date mainly from the late ninth century AD, as King Alfred's response to the threat of Danish invasion. In fact, the wik phenomenon predated the Danish arrival and can be traced back to at least the beginning of the eighth century. Some, such as Lewes, Lyng, and Lydford, were built on promontories of land, with a simple ditch and bank combination adding to the natural defences. ", This page was last edited on 15 September 2020, at 16:30. It is therefore likely to have originated in a context in which the logistics of the system and the means for its implementation and support were being worked out in practice on the ground. Thereafter the coins minted in London are only in the name of the Mercian king Ceolwulf. This received view has now been challenged from two directions – from the perspectives of the strategies involved,[19] and a new interpretation of the coinage of King Alfred. Alfreds practice was to divide his field army into two or three, so with additional support from the royal household troops and those of the leading nobility would provide Alfred with enough manpower to deal with any Viking attacks. Start This article has been rated as Start-Class on the project's quality scale. The fact that Offa extended this burghal system against the Vikings implies it was not a new defensive system. This page was last edited on 6 November 2020, at 15:00 (UTC). Ex. [1][4], After his victory over the Danes at the Battle of Edington (878) and the departure of another Viking army from Fulham in 880, Alfred the Great set about building a system of fortified towns or forts, known as burhs, in response to the Viking threat. Military Obligation in Medieval England. There follows a series calculations and multiples then continues: "If the circuit is greater, the additional amount can easily be deduced from this account, for 160 men are always required for 1 furlong, then every pole of wall is manned by 4 men”. The period used to be known as the Dark Ages, mainly because written sources for the early years of Saxon invasion are scarce. Haslam. The Anglo-Saxon kings undertook significant planned urban expansion in the 8th and 9th centuries, creating burhs, often protected with earth and wood ramparts. [10], In wartime, five hides were expected to provide one fully armed soldier in the king's service,[11] and one man from every hide was to provide garrison duty for the burhs and to help in their initial construction and upkeep. The burhs were remarkable for their time in that they used a regular grid pattern of streets - not unlike the old Roman towns. It seems that although earthworks and Roman fortifications were places where their enemies took refuge, contemporary Anglo-Saxons did not themselves build defended sites. [6], In the event of Danish attacks, the provision of fortified towns was a place of refuge for the Anglo-Saxon rural population who lived within a 15-mile (24 km) radius of each town. Along the border between Wales and England give us that total as they out... 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