Burh1 min read

The Archive, Warfare & Military Technology
An impression of a burh (Source: David Hobbs).

A burh is an Anglo-Saxon fortified enclosure. During the early Middle Ages, Alfred the Great organized the build of burhs as a defence against Viking attacks.

In the Burghal Hidage, 33 of these burhs have been listed.[1] Once they proved a success against the invaders, these burhs developed into administrative and commercial centres.[2]

Linguistically the term burh developed into burg, burgh, borough and the affix -bury. Many synonyms exist in northern European countries.[3]


  1. Beyond The Burghal Hidage, ‘The Burghal Hidage.’ University College London. Last Accessed 17 January 2016. http://www.ucl.ac.uk/archaeology/research/projects/burghalhidage/hidage  ↩
  2. Stephen Pollington, ‘Burh.’ In: The Oxford Encyclopedia of Medieval Warfare and Military Technology: Volume 1 edited by Clifford J. Rogers (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010) pp. 267 [pp.266–267].  ↩
  3. Wikipedia, ‘Burh’. Last Accessed 17 January 2016. https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Burh&oldid=716917851.  ↩

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