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Winchester- the 8th burh to be cited in the Burghal Hidage

Kingdom Type of Burh No. of Hides O.S. Grid Ref
Wessex Burghal Town 2400 SU48102950


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

Martin Biddle suggests that, prior to the establishment of the burh, Anglo-Saxon settlement within the walled area of the Roman Town consisted of “a royal residence, a cathedral church and its community, an unknown but probably small number of estates of high social status, and perhaps a street market and some service population along the eastern part of the main through route, ceap stræt, by c. 9001.The establishment of the burh resulted un a planned street layout with an east – west main thoroughfare, two parallel side streets to the north and the south of the main thoroughfare, and north – south streets at right angles to the main thoroughfare running to an intra-mural street 2.

Excavations have confirmed that this street pattern extended over the south east quarter of the town, but were later obscured by the construction of New Minster in 901-3, extension of the monastic precincts in the 960s and by the construction of a royal palace c. 1070 3.

1    Biddle, M., (1976) “Towns” p. 119, in Wilson, D. M. (ed) “The Archaeology of Anglo-Saxon England” Methuen & Com Ltd, pp 99-150
2   ibid pp 129-130
3   ibid p 130

The Street Plan of the Burghal Town (black) over the
Roman Street Plan (open lines)
After Biddle (1973) 4

City Walls at Winchester
image: Wikimedia

Winchester c. 880-6
After Biddle (1973) 4

Winchester c. 993 – 1066
After Biddle (1973) 4

4    Biddle, M., (1973) “Winchester: the development of an early capital”
in Jankuhn, H. (ed) “Vor- und Frühformen der europäischen Stadt im Mittelalter vol 1. pp 229-261

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