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Buckingham – the 28th burh to be cited in the Burghal Hidage

Kingdom Type of Burh No. of Hides O.S. Grid Ref
Mercia Bughal Town 1600 SP695338

By 911 Edward the Elder succeeded to the lands dependant on London and Oxford. It is thought that these lands included Buckinghamshire. 1

“The foundation of a double-burh at Buckingham by Edward in 914 can therefore be understood as part of a deliberate policy of political and military expansion by the resurgent Kingdom of Wessex into the weakened Mercian ‘buffer state’ between Wessex and the Danelaw.” 2

“The assessment for Buckingham stands at 1600 hides, indicating a population within the district large enough to sustain 1600 men for garrison duty as well as maintaining 320 soldiers for the Saxon army (Baines, 1984). This equates to a ‘wall’ of 400 poles or 2200 yards (2012 metres) length. Although BH is not explicit that this would account for both elements of the double-burh it seems common sense that both together formed the burh defensive works and that we should therefore be looking for a total defensive circuit of about 2000m with elements on both sides of the river.” 3


1      Blair, J. 1994. Anglo-Saxon Oxfordshire. Stroud: Sutton.

2      Green, D. & Beckley, R. (2008),”Buckingham: Buckinghamshire Historic Towns Assessment Report”,Buckinghamshire County Counci, p 36

3      ibid p 37

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