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Portchester- the 6th burh to be cited in the Burghal Hidage

Kingdom Type of Burh No. of Hides O.S. Grid Ref
Wessex Burghal Fort 500 SU62480456


O.S. Map 1:50,000 – licence: Anquet Maps
(click on the images to enlarge)

Aerial Photograph – licence: Memory Map

Burhs in order of citation

Excavation within the Roman Period Saxon Shore Fort have shown evidence of settlement dating to the mid- fifth and to the seventh to ninth centuries AD. Sunken Featured Buildings (Grübenhauser), timber houses and ancillary buildings were found, after which a break in occupation is marked by the extensive dumping of rubbish in the interior of the fort.
In AD 904 Portchester was acquired by King Edward the Elder and became a defended burh. Excavations have produced buildings dating to the 10th and 11th centuries, including a Thegnly Residence with a large aisled hall, and a rectangular stone building around which a cemetery developed. This is probably a church tower that also functioned as part of the defended gate, similar to St Michael’s Tower in Oxford see here…
The Watergate in the east wall was probably rebuilt before the Norman Conquest, with a gatehouse built in the southern half of the Roman opening.

Aerial Photograph – image Google Maps

Location of Thegnly Residence

Plan of the Excavated Thegnly Residence

A reconstruction of the fort as it may have appeared in the late 10th century, with timber-framed buildings and a large residential hall with its own enclosure
image: Historic England

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