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10 20 30 40 50 FEET Scale for Section.
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(To foce p. 52.
informed about events in the west, that Bridgenorth was the site of their work, especially as the high rock at Bridgenorth offers a natural fortification. The only circumstance that is in favour of Quatford is that it is mentioned as a burgus in Domesday, which shows that it possessed fortifications of the civic kind; and we shall see later on, that such fortifications were often the work of the Danes. But this burgus may more probably have been the work of Roger de Montgomeri, who planted a castle there in the with century.
10. TEMPSFORD.—Here the Danes wrought a work in 918." There is a small oblong enclosure at Tempsford, still in fair preservation, called Gannock Castle, which is generally supposed to be this Danish work. The ramparts are about it or 12 feet above the bottom of the moat, which is about 20 feet wide. There is a small circular mound, about 5 feet high, on top of the rampart, which appears to be so placed as to defend the entrance. This mound is "edged all round by the root of a small bank, which may have been the base of a stockaded tower. This curious little enclosure is different altogether from any of the Danish works just enumerated, and it is difficult to see what purpose it could have served. The area enclosed is only half an acre, which would certainly not have accommodated the large army “from Huntingdon and from the East Angles,” which built the advanced post at Tempsford as a base for the forcible recovery of the districts which they had lost. Such a small enclosure as this might possibly have been a citadel, but our
1 Florence's date.
? Victoria History of Bedfordshire, i., 282, from which this description is taken.
3 The Chronicle speaks of Tempsford as a burh, so it must have been a large enclosure.
knowledge of Danish camps does not tell us of any with citadels, and it is hardly likely that the democratic constitution of these pirate bands would have allowed of a citadel for the chief. It is far more probable that this work belongs to a later time, and that the Danish camp has been swept away by the river.
11. READING.—There is no "work” mentioned by the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle at this place, which the Danes made their headquarters in 871, but we add it to the list because Asser not only mentions it, but describes the nature of the fortification. It was a vallum drawn between the rivers Thames and Kennet, so as to enclose a peninsula. It had several entrances, as the Danes "rushed out from all the gates” on the AngloSaxon attack. Such a fort belongs to the simplest and easiest kind of defence, used at all times by a general who is in a hurry, and it has therefore no significance in determining the general type of Danish works.
Besides these eleven places where works are mentioned, there are thirteen places where the Danes are said to have taken up their winter quarters, and where we may be certain that they were protected by some kind of fortifications. These are Thanet, Sheppey, Thetford, York, London, Torkesey, Repton, Cambridge, Exeter, Chippenham, Cirencester, Fulham, and Mersey Island. Four places out of this list-York, London, Exeter, and Cirencester—were Roman castra, whose walls were still available for defence. Three-Thanet, Sheppey, and Mersey—were islands, and thus naturally defended, being much more insular than they are
1 Mr Clark actually speaks of a subsequent Norman castle at Tempsford (M. M. A., i., 78), but we have been unable to find any confirmation of this. Faint traces of larger works in the fields below were formerly visible. V. C. H. Bedfordshire.
* Stephenson's Asser, p. 27.
DANISH WINTER QUARTERS
now.? Three-Thetford, Torkesey, and Cambridgeappear as burgi in Domesday, showing that they were fortified towns. It is highly probable that the Danes
the first fortifications of these boroughs. There are no remains of town banks at Torkesey; at Cambridge the outline of the town bank can be traced in places ;? and at Thetford there was formerly an earthwork on the Suffolk side of the river, which appears to have formed three sides of a square, abutting on the river, and enclosing the most ancient part of the town. Chippenham and Repton were ancient seats of the Anglo-Saxon kings, and may have had fortifications, but nothing remains now. Chippenham is a borough by prescription, therefore of ancient date. At Fulham, on the Thames, there is a quadrangular moat and bank round the Bishop of London's palace, which is sometimes supposed to be the camp made by the Danes in 879; but it may equally well be mediæval.
There was formerly a harbour at Fulham.*
It must be confessed that this list of Danish fortresses furnishes us with a very slender basis for generalisation as to the nature of Danish fortifications, judging from the actual remains. All we can say is that in six cases out of twenty-four (not including Tempsford or Fulham) the work appears to have been rectangular. In the case of Shoebury, about which we have the best
1 There are no remains of earthworks in Thanet or Sheppey, except a place called Cheeseman's Camp, near Minster in Thanet, which the late Mr Gould regarded as of the "homestead-moat type.” V. C. H. Kent, i., 433. Nor are there any earthworks on Mersey Island mentioned by Mr Gould in his paper on Essex earthworks in the V. C. H.
2 Stukeley, who saw this earthwork when it was in a much more perfect state, says that it contained 30 acres. See Mr Hope's paper in Camb. Antig. Soc., vol. xi.
3 Blomefield's Norfolk, ii., pp. 7, 8, 27. His description is very confused. 4 See Erlingssen's Ruins of the Saga Time, Viking Club, p. 337.