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Witham Town Defences

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Wulvesford; Withambury; Burgate Field; Rivenhall End; Chippinghill; Clipping Hill Camp

In the civil parish of Witham.
In the historic county of Essex.
Modern Authority of Essex.
1974 county of Essex.
Medieval County of Essex.

OS Map Grid Reference: TL821142
Latitude 51.79647° Longitude 0.63858°

Witham Town Defences has been described as a probable Urban Defence.

There are uncertain remains.


Witham burh was founded by Edward the elder in 912. Three sites have been suggested as the site: Chipping Hill Camp (TL819151); Wulvesford (TL821142); Burgate Field (Rivenhall End, TL838164). The first has long been associated with the site of the burh, but recent research suggests it is the least likely location. Wulvesford is a curvilinear enclosure which enclosed the Mediaeval town created by the Knight's Templars. It enclosed 27 hectares. Strategically it is a better candidate than Chipping Hill Camp, since it lies across London-Colchester Road. The location makes sense as an offensive earthwork of the campaign of 912, but it is clear that if ever it was intended to become an urban centre, it failed. Burgate Field is a rectangular enclosure adjacent to the London-Colchester Roman Road, enclosing 18 hectares. It is suggested that this was the intended site of the urban centre, which for unknown reasons failed, and probably soon after it was laid out since Witham never had a mint, unlike most of the burhs which were extant in Athelstan's reign (925-39). (PastScape)

A.D. 913: After this, in the summer, betwixt gangdays and midsummer, went King Edward with some of his force into Essex, to Maldon; and encamped there the while that men built and fortified the town of Witham. (ASC)
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:19:30

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