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Creation of the Burhs


The creation of the burhs was a well ordered programme which obviously required central planning coupled with expert knowledge of existing conditions.

It is likely that the construction of the burhs fell into three main phases:

Phase 1


The use of existing sites such as towns of Roman origin and Iron Age hillforts.

Phase 2


The creation of new towns; both promontory towns -where the existing topography provided part of the defence system, and new towns on open sites - where the defences had to be constructed totally ad novum. These towns were often situated at key points, such as river crossings.

Phase 3


"Filling in the gaps" by the creation of new forts, to ensure that no one in Wessex was more that a day's march from a burh.








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