Warwick – the 33rd burh to be cited in the Burghal Hidage
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Warwick is one of several Domesday boroughs which had become urban by 1086 or shortly afterwards, but for which there is very little earlier evidence. The only well-established aspect of its pre-Conquest existence is that Æthelflæd built a burh there between 912 and 915. This, despite attempts to show an earlier origin for the town – e.g. Slater (1983) 1 – is usually seen as the origin of Warwick’s role as an administrative, commercial and ecclesiastical centre.
Steven Bassett concludes “An examination of the albeit fragmentary evidence for Warwick’s defences shows that although the course of the Æthelflædan circuit remains elusive, the most credible theory is that it was the one subsequently taken by the town’s later medieval defences.” 2 However, so far this has not been supported by recent excavations. 3
1 Slater, T. R. (1983) “The Origins of Warwick”, Midland History, vol 8:1, pp 1-13,
2 Bassett, S. (2009) Anglo-Saxon Warwick, Midland History, vol 34:2, p 123
3 Information for record number MWA2191: Possible location of Saxon Defences for Warwick