The Burgh Walls and the Danes 

Wallingford’s Saxon Heritage 

At the edges of the Kinecroft and the Bullcroft and in ditches round the town, you can see remains of Wallingford’s defensive walls and moat. The earthen walls were built in the 9th century to a plan devised by Alfred the Great, to protect the town from Danish attacks. The Wallingford walls and others built at the time are described in the “Burghal Hidage” – a Saxon historic document, which shows that Wallingford was one of the most important towns in southern England at that time.

The walls are believed to be the best examples of Saxon “burgh walls” still in existence and would have taken 10,000 hours to build. They were probably capped with a wooden fence.

However, the walls failed to protect the town when in 1006 Sweyn Forkbeard, the father of King Cnut, attacked and burned Wallingford.

Being a burgh town allowed Wallingford to mint its own money - something it continued to do until the 13th century.

David Hemming

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