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Malmesbury – the 24th burh to be cited in the Burghal Hidage

Kingdom Type of Burh No. of Hides O.S. Grid Ref
Wessex Burghal Town 1200 ST93348714
“Malmesbury must have acquired defences at least by the late 9thcentury, when it became one of the towns of the Burghal Hidage. To the west, south and east the Medieval defences must have followed the Saxon predecessor, constructed in the form of a double wall with a roadway between. On analogy with Shaftesbury, the earlier Saxon defences to the north, before the construction of the Burghal Hidage fortress, could well have run from the postern gate on the west, eastwards on the north side of Oxford Street. Refortification in the late 9th or early 10th century may have extended the defences to include the monastic buildings, and Mill Lane running north across the promontory could represent the line of the intra-mural road at this stage. The street pattern to the west and the presence of the market-place (Horsefair), implies the existence of a Medieval suburb which may have been defended by a bank and ditch across the promontory neck.”

Text from Historic England Research Records: Malmesbury

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