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COLCHESTER AND CLEDEMUTHAN
Chronicle indicates. Colchester was placed so as to defend the river Colne, just as Maldon defended the estuary of the Blackwater. As the repair of Colchester and the successful defence of Wigingamere were followed the same year by the submission of East Anglia, it seems not unlikely that Edward's various forces may have made a simultaneous advance, along the coast, and along the Roman road by the Fen country; but this of course is the merest conjecture, as the Chronicle gives us no details of this very important
CLEDEMUTHAN.—This place is only mentioned in the Abingdon MS. of the Chronicle, but the year 921 is the date given for its building. This date should probably be transposed to 918, the year in which, according to Florence, Edward subjugated East Anglia. It is well known how confused the chronology of the various versions of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle is during the reign of Edward the Elder.' Cley, in Norfolk, would be etymologically deducible from Clede (the d being frequently dropped, especially in Scandinavian districts), and the muthan points to some river estuary. Cley is one of the few havens on the north coast of Norfolk, and its importance in former times was much greater than now, as is shown not only by the spaciousness of its Early English church, but by the fact that the port has jurisdiction for 30 miles along the coast. It would be highly probable that Edward completed the subjugation of East Anglia by planting a borough at some important point. But as the real date of the fortifica
1 See Mr Plummer's discussion of these variations in his edition of the Chronicle, ii., 116.
2 Lewis, Topographical Dictionary of England. Mr Rye remarks:"The silting up of the harbour has ruined a port which once promised to be of as great importance as Norwich." History of Norfolk, p. 228.
tion of Cledemuthan is uncertain, we must be content to leave this matter in abeyance.1
STAMFORD is another case where the borough is clearly said to have been on the side which is opposite to the one where the Norman castle stands. Edward's borough was on the south side, the motte and other remains of the Norman castle are on the north of the Welland. It is remarkable that the part of Stamford on the south side of the Welland is still a distinct liberty; it is mentioned in Domesday as the sixth ward of the borough. The line of the earthworks can still be traced in parts. The borough on the north side of the Welland was probably first walled in by the Danes, as it was one of the Five Boroughs-Stamford, Leicester, Lincoln, Nottingham, and Derby-which appear to have formed an independent or semi-independent state in middle England. Stamford is a borough in Domesday.
NOTTINGHAM.-The first mention of a fortress in connection with Nottingham seems to suggest that it owed its origin to the Danes. In 868 the Danish host which had taken possession of York in the previous year "went into Mercia to Nottingham, and there took up their winter quarters. And Burgræd king of Mercia
1 It is really wonderful that the identification of Cledemuthan with the mouth of the cleddy in Pembrokeshire could ever have been accepted by any sober historian. That Edward, whose whole time was fully occupied with his conquests from the Danish settlers, could have suddenly transported his forces into one of the remotest corners of Wales, would have been a feat worthy of the coming days of air-ships. William of Worcester has preserved a tradition that Edward repaired Burgh, "quae olim Saxonice dicebatur Burgh-chester," but he confuses it with Norwich. Itinerarium, 337. Is it possible that we ought to look for Cledemuthan at Burgh Castle, at the mouth of the Waveney? It would be quite in accordance with Edward's actions elsewhere to restore an old Roman castrum.
2 Leland says: "There were 7 principall Towers or Wards in the waulles of Staunford, to eche of which were certeyne freeholders in the Towne allottid to wache and ward in tyme of neadde." Itinerarium, vii., 11.
and his Witan begged of Ethelred, king of the West Saxons, and of Alfred his brother, that they would help them, that they might fight against the army. And then they went with the West Saxon force into Mercia as far as Nottingham, and there encountered the army which was in the fortress (geweorc), and besieged them there; but there was no great battle fought, and the Mercians made peace with the army." Nottingham became another of the Danish Five Boroughs. The Danish host on this occasion came from York, no doubt in ships down the Ouse and up the Trent. The site would exactly suit them, as it occupied a very strong position on St Mary's Hill, a height equal to that on which the castle stands, defended on the south front by precipitous cliffs, below which ran the river Leen, and only a very short distance from the junction of the Leen with the Trent, the great waterway of middle England.' Portions of the ancient ditch were uncovered in 1890, and its outline appears to have been roughly rectangular, like the Danish camp at Shoebury. The ditch was about 20 feet wide. The area enclosed was about 39 acres.
This borough was captured by Edward the Elder in 919, when after the death of his sister Ethelfleda he advanced into Danish Mercia, taking up the work which she had left unfinished. The Chronicle tells us that he repaired the borough (burh), and garrisoned it with both English and Danes. Two years later, he evidently felt the necessity of fortifying the Trent itself, for he built another borough on the south side of
1 A.-S. C., 868.
2 Shipman's Old Town Wall of Nottingham, pp. 73-75. The evidence for a Roman origin of the borough is altogether too slight, as, except some doubtful earthenware bottles, no Roman remains have been found at Nottingham.
3 A.-S. C., 921. Florence of Worcester, 919.
the river, and connected the two boroughs by a bridge, which must have included a causeway or a wooden stage across the marshes of the Leen. It is not surprising that the frequent floods of the Trent have carried away all trace of this second borough.' The important position of Nottingham was maintained in subsequent times, and it was still a borough at Domesday.
THELWALL.-According to Camden, Thelwall explains by its name the kind of work which was set up here, a wall composed of the trunks of trees. This was another attempt to defend the course of the Mersey, which was once tidal as far as Thelwall. No remains of any fortifications can now be seen at Thelwall, which was not one of the boroughs which took root. But the Mersey has changed its course very much at this point, even before the making of the Ship Canal effected a more complete alteration.2
MANCHESTER.-The burh repaired by Edward the Elder was no doubt the Roman castrum, which was built on the triangle of land between the Irwell and the Medlock. Large portions of the walls were still remaining in Stukeley's time, about 1700, and some fragments have recently been unearthed by the Manchester Classical Association. It was one of the smaller kind of Roman stations, its area being only 5 acres. Manchester is not mentioned as a borough in Domesday, but the old Saxon town was long known as Aldportton, which literally means "the town of the
1 I am indebted for much of the information given here to the local antiquarian knowledge of Mr Harold Sands, F.S.A. He states that the old borough was 1400 yards from the Trent at its nearest point, and that the highest ground on the south side of the Trent is marked by the Trent Bridge cricket ground, the last spot to become flooded. Here, therefore, was the probable site of Edward's second borough.
2 See Appendix F.
MANCHESTER AND BAKEWELL
old city." This is its title in medieval deeds, and it is still preserved in Alport Street, a street near the remains of the castrum.1 The later borough of Manchester, which existed at least as early as the 13th century, appears to have grown up round the Norman castle, about a mile from the Roman castrum.2 BAKEWELL. The vagueness of the indication in the Chronicle, "nigh to Bakewell," leaves us in some doubt where we are to look for this burh, which Florence calls an urbs. Just outside the village of Bakewell there are the remains of a motte and bailey castle (a small motte and bailey of 2 acres), which are always assumed to be the burh of Edward. But the enclosure is far too small for a borough, and Edward's burh would certainly have enclosed the church; for though the present church contains no Saxon architecture, the ancient cross in the graveyard shows that it stands on a Saxon site. It is more reasonable to suppose that Edward's borough, if it was at Bakewell, has disappeared as completely as those of Runcorn, Buckingham, and Thelwall, and that the motte and bailey belong to one of the many Norman castles whose names never appear in history. There is no conclusive evidence for the existence of a Norman castle at Bakewell, but the names Castle Field, Warden Field, and Court Yard are at least suggestive. Bakewell was the seat of jurisdiction for the High Peak Hundred in medieval times."
1 Whitaker's History of Manchester, i., 43.
2 Trans. of Lanc. and Chesh. Hist. and Ant. Soc., v., 246.
3 "Castle" in combination with some other word is often given to works of Roman or British origin, because its original meaning was a fortified enclosure; but the name Castle Hill is extremely common for mottes.
4 We may remark here that it is not surprising that there should be a number of motte castles which are never mentioned in history, especially as it is certain that all the "adulterine" castles, which were raised without royal permission in the rebellions of Stephen's and other reigns, were very short-lived.