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A probable late Saxon burh at Ilchester

A probable late Saxon burh at Ilchester Reasons are put forward for suggesting that a burh at Ilchester would have formed one element of the system of burhs built over the whole of Wessex by King Alfred in the late ninth century, which, apart from Ilchester, are included in the Burghal Hidage document. The principal argument is that it is necessary to postulate the existence of a burghal territory of several hundred hides in addition to those given for other Somerset burhs in the Burghal hidage, in order to make up a shortfall in the total hidage values from the shire given in the Burghal Hidage compared to those in Domesday Book. A methodology is suggested by which these values can be reconstructed. There are other characteristics pertaining to Ilchester itself which are indicative of its former burghal status: its tenurial heterogeneity and its dependence on the royal estate centre at Milborne Port shown in Domesday Book, and archaeological and other evidence for its importance as a significant settlement in the late Saxon landscape of Somerset. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Landscape History Taylor & Francis

A probable late Saxon burh at Ilchester

Landscape History , Volume 34 (1): 18 – May 1, 2013
18 pages

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References (83)

Publisher
Taylor & Francis
Copyright
Copyright Society for Landscape Studies
ISSN
2160-2506
eISSN
0143-3768
DOI
10.1080/01433768.2013.797181
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Reasons are put forward for suggesting that a burh at Ilchester would have formed one element of the system of burhs built over the whole of Wessex by King Alfred in the late ninth century, which, apart from Ilchester, are included in the Burghal Hidage document. The principal argument is that it is necessary to postulate the existence of a burghal territory of several hundred hides in addition to those given for other Somerset burhs in the Burghal hidage, in order to make up a shortfall in the total hidage values from the shire given in the Burghal Hidage compared to those in Domesday Book. A methodology is suggested by which these values can be reconstructed. There are other characteristics pertaining to Ilchester itself which are indicative of its former burghal status: its tenurial heterogeneity and its dependence on the royal estate centre at Milborne Port shown in Domesday Book, and archaeological and other evidence for its importance as a significant settlement in the late Saxon landscape of Somerset.

Journal

Landscape HistoryTaylor & Francis

Published: May 1, 2013

Keywords: Somerset; Ilchester; Burghal Hidage; Burghal territory; late Saxon burh; Domesday evidence; heterogenous tenure; Milborne Port

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