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Worcester – the 32nd burh to be cited in the Burghal Hidage

Kingdom Type of Burh No. of Hides O.S. Grid Ref
Mercia Burghal Town 1200 SO850545


Worcester developed a river trade by the 10th century, with documentary evidence for riverine and coastal trade as early as the 8th century. In the late 9th century the settlement at Worcester was reorganized as a burh: a defended military centre, and a market. The burh defences have been sectioned at Deansway, and a area of house plots excavated, with buildings and pits (Dalwood and Edwards forthcoming). The town grew rapidly in the 10th century, with evidence for a mint, craftsmen, a large urban population.

The aristocrats who appear to have lived in Worcester were no longer resident by 1086. Rural manors were still tenurially linked to properties in the town, but these properties were no longer aristocratic townhouses but were the generators of income from burgesses who were their tenants (Baker and Holt 1996, 140). 1


1      Baker, N J, and Holt, R., (1996) “The city of Worcester in the tenth century”, in N Brooks and C Cubitt (eds) St Oswald of Worcester: life and influence, London: Leicester University Press, 129-146

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